By Melinda Maryniuk, MEd, RD, CDCES
As a dietitian, I am often asked, “What’s the best__ (bread, crackers, cereal…) for me to eat?” While there is no “best,” we want to offer you some “good-for-you” selections – and share some tips for how you can judge a food for yourself. As a general rule, the fewer ingredients – the better. That usually means it’s less processed. Check the label and see how the food fits in your calorie and carbohydrate (carb) budget and always aim to minimize sodium and saturated fat, while maximizing fiber. Certainly, taste is important. 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, it does 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 that can save you 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 quick grab-and-go breakfast foods 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.
Snacks – Savory
Looking for a crunchy snack that is not sweet? These suggestions are tasty and good-for-you in that they are good sources of fiber. Remember that all nuts and seeds will be low in carbs and high in protein, but are also high in calories – so watch the portion size. All of these choices are gluten free.
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