By Melinda Maryniuk, MEd, RD, CDCES
As a dietitian, I am often asked, “What’s the best __ (bread, crackers, cereal, you name it!) for me to eat?” While there is no “best,” I want to offer you some “good-for-you” selections – and share some tips that will help you judge a food for yourself. A few general guidelines– one, the fewer ingredients – the better. (That usually means it’s less processed.) Two, check the label and see how that option fits in your calorie and carbohydrate (carb) budget and always aim to minimize sodium and saturated fat, while maximizing fiber. Three, taste matters… if you don’t like it, don’t bother! The same with price. With so many different products available, these suggestions will give you an idea of what to look for.
When choosing bread, look for choices that include whole wheat as a first ingredient and have a lot of dietary fiber. While you don’t have to choose a “thin-sliced” or a low-carb bread, those options do tend to save you calories and carbs which you can “spend” on other parts of your meal. Nutrition facts for all choices are for one slice of bread / one tortilla.
Crackers and Crispbreads
These crackers all minimally processed, meaning they have very few ingredients. Many come in a variety of flavors, so check the label for sodium or to see if there are too many additives. (Gluten Free crackers are marked GF)
Frozen Convenience Vegetables
There are so many great frozen veggie options available and they can save you a lot of time. Check the label to make sure the one you choose does not have extra “sauce” or “seasonings” which can add additional calories and sodium.
Quick Breakfast Meals
When you don’t have time for your usual breakfast, it’s good to have some options for a quick grab-and-go breakfast in your freezer or pantry. Here are some options that will give you the protein you need to start your day, yet are still low in overall calories.
Looking for a crunchy, savory snack? These suggestions are tasty and good for you because they’re good sources of fiber. Remember that all nuts and seeds are low in carbs and high in protein, but they’re also high in calories so watch the portion size. All of these choices are gluten free.
While making healthy choices is important, for many people living with obesity / excess weight, diet and exercise alone are not enough to reach a healthier weight. Seeing a physician can help you find the medical treatments that can make the difference.
To find a physician near you who specializes in weight management, click here.
To sign up for our free online class that covers the basics of how to reach a healthier weight, click here.