There are some things that every household needs to make all the meals in a day, but what about making them healthier? Organic food is extremely high-priced to purchase with food stamps, though these vegetables and fruits can make a wonderful salad or snack. It’s also good to have some healthy staples to fall back on when you don’t want to run to the grocery store to pick up something. Mens Health recently did a piece on the top foods in 25 categories, including cereal, flour, grain, milk, rice and pasta. Here is the number #1 in each category. Perhaps your supermarket has these on sale this week. You can also find coupons online for your local chain supermarkets to cut the price down a bit more.
Best Cereal – Post Shredded Wheat
This is a great staple cereal for any family or individual. It’s made of wheat and only has 170 calories with 6 grams of protein per serving. It also has 6 grams of fiber and only 1 gram of fat. Paired with some fresh banana slices or eaten plain, shredded wheat is a definitely healthy way to go for morning breakfasts.
Best Instant Oatmeal – Quaker’s Weight Control
Oatmeal is one of the best choices for your breakfast, and Quaker’s has a good start for you. The Quaker Oatmeal Weight Control Banana Bread is absolutely divine, and you can make this at home in the morning or at work for a snack. It only has 160 calories, 7 grams of proteins, 6 grams of fiber and 3 grams of fat. However, there is 29 grams of carbs, which may be a problem for those who are on a low carb or no carb diet.
Best Hot Cereal – Arrowhead Mills Steel-Cut Oats
Like oatmeal, steel-cut oats provide a healthy breakfast alternative. However, this takes longer to cook than the instant brand. However, you can find plenty of generic supermarket brands of steel-cut oats for incredibly cheap. For a ½ cup, you get 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fiber and 3 grams of fat.
Best Breakfast Bar – South Beach LivingHigh Protein Peanut Butter Cereal Bar
What a mouthful! So the South Beach diet isn’t for everyone, but this cereal bar truly has a great taste factor, and it’s ultra-lean on the carbs and calories. This is an absolute ideal snack for anyone on a diet. For each bar, you get 140 calories, 10 grams of protein, 15 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber, as well as 5 grams of fat. There are a lot of coupons for this brand online and in store.
Best Syrup – Smucker’s Sugar Free
If you’re going to use sugary stuff on your breakfast, do it with the sugar free Smucker’s kind. With a ¼ cup, you get 20 calories and 8 grams of carbs, so be careful on your amount and what you pair this with.
Best Bread – Arnold Natural 100% Whole Wheat
You should always pick out 100 percent whole grain products when you are looking for healthy breads. You can always look for the generic brand to see a cheaper price and buy whole wheat, but only if its main ingredient is whole grain. Per slice with Arnold’s Natural 100 percent whole wheat, you get 90 calories, 3 grams of protein, 16 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber, and 1.5 grams of fat.
Best Buns – Arnold Select Wheat Sandwich Rolls
If you love making burgers but want to shave off some calories, you can do so with these buns. You can always get a healthier burger just making alternative choices. Per roll, you get 150 calories, 6 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of fat.
Best Bagel – Thomas’ Hearty Grains Whole Wheat Bagel
Bagels are one of the biggest temptations, but they don’t have to be. These whole wheat bagels from Thomas’ really have a nutritious value while not being incredibly bad for a lunch item. Per bagel, you receive 270 calories, 12 grams of protein, 55 grams of carbs, 8 grams of fiber and 2 grams of fat. So maybe, just one bagel today.
Best English Muffin – Thomas’ Oatmeal and Honey English Muffins
English muffins are like the healthier cousin to bagels. You also get to put all sorts of amazing yumminess on top of a muffin, like eggs and bacon. You can also do yourself a favor by using a small amount of butter instead of jelly to lower its glycemic index, according to Mens Health. In total, this muffin has 130 calories, 5 grams of protein, 25 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber and 1 gram of fat.
Best Tortilla – MexAmerica 100% Whole Wheat Flour
Flour tortillas are like an enemy to those who love Mexican food. It’s delicious but can get incredibly caloric with an overload on carbs if not careful. These tortillas are perfect for your cheese and beans drams. For each tortilla, you get 210 calories and 5 grams of fiber.
Best Pita – Thomas’ Sahara Pita Pockets – 100% Whole Wheat
Thomas’ does make a lot of things with whole wheat. Sometimes you can catch these pitas on sale. Otherwise, the generic brand may be even cheaper way to go for whole wheat pita pockets. These are best known for making healthy chips with olive oil. Just bake at 400 degrees until crisp. There are 140 calories and 4 grams of fiber in each.
Best Pizza – Boboli 100% Whole Wheat
Boboli has been around a long time and has some great pizza fixings’ for those who love a good cheesey, tomato-y meal. You can create an amazingly healthy pizza with this pizza crust and tomatoes, basil and olive oil. For each 1/5 shell, you get 150 calories, 27 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber.
Best Pasta – Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Blend Spaghetti
If you have tried whole wheat pasta in the past, and really didn’t like the taste, you should at least give this one a shot before chalking it up to the old gritty flavors of wheat pasta. It’s actually incredibly tasty and healthy as well. With some sauce, you truly can’t taste the difference. With a ¼ cup, you get 180 calories, 7 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber.
Best Quick-Cooking Rice – Uncle Ben’s Fast and Natural Whole Grain Brown
Brown rice isn’t everyone’s favorite choice, but it is healthy and there is plenty that you can do with a good staple of brown rice in your home. This is also 100 percent whole grain rice. That’s incredibly healthy to pair with vegetables and a good meat side. For 1 cooked up of rice, you get 170 calories, 4 grams of protein, 36 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber.
Best Flour – King Arthur 100% Whole Wheat
Since you’re already getting whole wheat bread, then you should try out whole wheat flour to make some of your baking creations healthier and still have that great texture. Per ¼ cup, you get 110 calories, 21 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber.
Best Grain – Bob’s Red Mill Organic Quinoa
Quinoa is a rather intricate dish that you may or may not enjoy. It does need a bit of preparation, but you can find some amazing quinoa recipes online and with cheap ingredients as well. Savvy Vegetarian has an amazing idea on how to cook quinoa easily. For each cup, you get 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 30 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fiber and 2.5 grams of fat.
Best Milk – Organic Valley Reduced Fat
You may opt for the fat free milk choice but you’re actually losing some nutrients. Organic milk also helps build more muscles and gives you a lot of protein. Per each cup, you can get 130 calories, 8 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat.
Best Chocolate Milk – Organic Valley Reduced Fat Chocolate Milk
It’s a wonderful treat to have chocolate milk with lunch or just with your snack. This is also a great way to help your body after an intense workout. You get 170 calories per cup, 8 grams of protein, 24 grams of carbs, 1 gram of fiber and 5 grams of fat.
Best Cheese for Snacks – Laughing Cow Mini Babybel Original
These are delicious and low fat as well! You can also individually wrapped Colby jack reduced fat and fat free varieties that are equally delicious and low fat, yet maybe less expensive than Babybel. These are individually packaged to lock in freshman. For each one, you get 70 calories, 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 6 grams of fat.
Best Shredded Cheese – Kraft 25% Mozzarella
Mozzarella cheese goes great with anything, particularly Italian dishes. You can make a dish 10 times better by adding cheese, as my Grandmother says. For each ounce, you get 70 calories, 8 grams of protein, 1 gram of carb, and 4 grams of fat.
Best Sliced Cheese – Sargento Deli Style Swiss
These go perfect with your ham and cheese sandwiches for lunch. You get the full flavor of the cheese without all calories. There are 70 calories per slice with 5 grams of protein, 0 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat.
Best Cottage Cheese – Friendship Cottage Cheese
You get a kick of protein with this and you can partner it with all kinds of fruit for a good snack or breakfast. You get half the carbs as well when you pick Friendship. For ¼ cup, you get 110 calories, 15 grams of protein, 3 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of fat.
Best Cream Cheese – Kraft Philadelphia Light
Kraft makes some incredible reduced fat items. This cream cheese can go great with your bagel for your mid-day snack. You can also make a flavorful spread by adding in fruit or chopped olives. Per each two tablespoons, you get 70 calories, 2 grams of protein, 2 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fat.
Best All-Purpose Cheese – Cypress Grove Chevre
Whenever you need an extra cheesy fix, add on some of this perfect all-purpose cheese. You can toss with pesto or eat as a snack with strawberries or pears. For each ounce, you get 70 calories, 4 grams of protein and 6 grams of fat.
Best Secret Topping – Vermont Butter and Cheese Crème Fraiche
This is sort of a decadent topping, but it will work wonders for your baked potato or chili. It’s a lot like sour cream but healthier and better for you. You get 110 calories per ounce and 11 grams of fat.