By Heather Bauer, R.D., nu-train
Cold Survival: How to Stock a Healthy Pantry and Freezer
In winter, we tend to hibernate. Our meals and snacks end up being foods that are hiding in the back of our cupboards, take-out, or fast-food that we can quickly pick up on our way home from work. As a result, many gain weight over the winter months. To help combat that reality, it is best to stock a healthy pantry and freezer.
Several past studies have determined that eating soup prior to a meal can decrease hunger, increase fullness, and reduce subsequent meal intake. The reasons behind why soup has this effect, however, are still being tested.
Possible explanations include the temperature, amount consumed, fat content, energy content, and viscosity.
In a recent study published in Appetite in April 2007, Flood and Rolls investigated the effect the form of soup had on subsequent meal intake. They served the same soup recipe in four different ways: broth and vegetables served separately, chunky vegetable soup, chunky-pureed vegetable soup, and pureed vegetable soup. Sixty participants ate lunch at the laboratory for five consecutive weeks. Each week they were given a different soup or no soup at all prior to their meal.
Though the researchers found that having soup reduced subsequent meal intake by an average of 134 calories, they did not find that the type of soup had any significant impact.
While we still don’t know why soup helps to curb our appetites, we definitely recommend eating low-calorie soup to help reduce your intake at meals!
- Kashi GoLean Cereal: 10 grams of fiber, 13 grams of protein, and 6 grams of sugar. Plus, it's only 140 calories per cup!
- FiberOne: 14 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, 0 grams of sugar, and only 60 calories per ½ cup.
- McCann's Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal: Steel cut oats contain more fiber, iron and vitamin B than regular rolled oats. This breakfast will be sure to fill you up!
- Fiber Rich Crackers: For 2 crackers, you get 5 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein, and only 40 calories. Put some peanut butter or a slice of turkey on top and you have yourself a great snack!
- Soy Crisps (Glenny's, Genisoy): Great, low-calorie snacks to keep on hand.
- Snack Bars: See our September Newsletter for our favorite picks.
- Canned Fruit in Water: A great snack that provides a serving of fruit for the day.
- Mott's Healthy Harvest: Applesauce that has no added sugar. Another great way to get in a serving of fruit.
- Laughing Cow Lite Cheeses: With only 35 calories per serving, these are a great snack. And yes, they do not need to be refrigerated (although we think it tastes better if you do).
- Smart Pop Mini Bags: Only 110 calories and 2 grams of fat, this microwave popcorn is far superior to the movie theater type!
- Campbell's 25% less sodium Soup at Hand: Low in calories, convenient, and now with 25% less sodium.
- Imagine Soups: Boxed soups that are low in calories, lower in sodium, and that are great on their own or as a base for other recipes.
- Canned Beans: Chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans - no matter what variety you choose, they are high in fiber and protein, and great to add to salads, stews, or soups.
- Canned Tuna in Water: A staple from your childhood - it still tastes great and is good for you!
- Tasty Bites Meals (Madras Lentils, Kashmir Spinach, Jodhpur Vegetables, Bombay Potatoes, Bengal Lentils): Complete meals that are vacuum-packed, low in calories, and delicious! Available at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Costco, and online.
- Shirataki Noodles: Made of tofu and yam flour, these noodles are a great substitute for regular pasta. For a 4 ounce serving, it's only 20 calories, 3 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber.
- Bird's Eye Steamfresh Vegetables: Vegetables that you can microwave straight in the packaging.
- Tabatchnick Soups: Delicious, microwaveable soups, that are low in calories and that come in a variety of flavors.
- Amy's Organic Bowls and Burritos: These complete meals come in a variety of flavors.
- Veggie Burgers: Try Boca burgers, Gardenburgers, Morningstar Farms, or Dr. Praeger's.
- Kashi All Natural Meals: High in fiber and low in calories, these convenient meals are perfect any day of the week.
- Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts: Get them flash frozen, such as Empire or Purdue. You can cook them individually - straight from the freezer!
- Jennie-O Extra Lean Ground Turkey: If you keep this on hand, meatballs, meatloaf, or burgers, are always a possibility!
- Vacuum-packed Frozen fish: It takes almost no time to defrost, and in some cases can even be cooked straight from the freezer. Costco carries a large variety, as does Trader Joe's.
These get their own category because they can be in your pantry or the freezer. If you only have one or two people at home eating the bread, we highly recommend freezing it. This way, it won't go bad and you won't be tempted to overindulge!
- La Torilla Factory Wraps: Only 110 calories and high in fiber!
- Light Bread (Arnold's Bakery Light Whole Wheat, Pepperidge Farm, Nature's Own Light, Weight Watcher's): Only 40-50 calories per slice - having 2 slices will be less than or equal to 1 slice of regular bread!
- Light English Muffins (Weight Watcher's, Thomas's Light): Have it with peanut butter or an egg for a satisfying breakfast