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Foods Dietitians Eat

27 Healthy, Tasty Foods Dietitians Always Keep Stocked in Their Kitchen


Navigating the grocery store can be overwhelming. Between navigating the aisles and picking out produce, it's hard to determine what you should spend your money on and where you should save. Fortunately, these dietitians have made it easier by revealing what they always have on hand. Spoiler alert: you don't need to stock up on the latest "healthy" snack foods or load your cart with the priciest cuts of meat. For these professionals, it's all about sticking to the basics. Find out what they stock in their pantries and fridges, and be sure to add these foods to your next grocery list.

Frozen Vegetables

"Frozen vegetables are always great to keep on hand for easy and quick steam cooking in the microwave or stovetop and a great alternative for when I am low on fresh vegetables." — Gisela Bouvier, RDN, LDN, owner of B Nutrition and Wellness

Eggs

"I always have eggs on hand. I often make eggs into lunch because they're quick and full of protein and essential vitamins like D and E and choline, which is especially important during pregnancy." — Kaleigh McMordie, RDN, LD

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Baby Spinach

"Prewashed baby spinach is always on my grocery list because it's versatile and contains a wide variety of nutrients. With its subtle flavor and bright color, baby spinach goes in everything from smoothies to pasta sauce, salads, and omelets in my house. One cup of spinach contains only seven calories and is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin K and a good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese." — Edwina Clark, MS, RD, head of Nutrition and Wellness at Yummly

Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

"This high-protein food is like a blank slate for whatever flavors you're in the mood for. It's perfect for breakfast because I can make a meal with it lickety-split. One of my favorite combinations is cottage cheese, cinnamon, raisins, and muesli." — Jill Weisenberger, RDN, CDE, author of Prediabetes: A Complete Guide

Greek Yogurt

"Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein, containing upwards of 17 grams per one-cup serving. It is not only delicious when mixed with fresh or frozen fruit, but it also works perfectly to boost creaminess and protein content in smoothies." — Suzanne Fisher, RD, licensed nutritionist

Salad Greens

"I keep salad greens on hand any time I can. I love to throw leftovers over a bed of greens for a nutrient-dense and spontaneous salad for lunch every day." — Gisela Bouvier

Oats

"Oats are always in my pantry because they are affordable, easy to prepare, and can be used in a variety of ways, from oatmeal to muffins and pancakes and even substituting for bread crumbs. They're full of cholesterol-lowering fiber." — Kaleigh McMordie

Tahini

"I use tahini in salad dressings and to drizzle on veggies, even spooned into a smoothie. Tahini has fiber, protein, healthy fats, calcium, and B vitamins, which are nutrients we all need plenty of." — Cathy Leman, RD, NSCA-Certified personal trainer, owner/president of NutriFit, Inc.

Frozen Blueberries

"Frozen blueberries are one of my favorite healthy sweet treats and are a great addition to smoothies and pancakes. Frozen blueberries are flash-frozen at peak ripeness, which means they retain many of their nutrients and have a pleasant sweetness. Frozen blueberries provide fewer than 100 calories per cup and four grams of fiber. In addition, blueberries are a rich source of anthocyanins, which are groups of phytochemicals that appear to help protect the heart, brain, and reduce inflammation. Look for frozen blueberries without added sugar for the most nutritious choice." — Edwina Clark

Wild Canned Salmon

"Wild canned salmon is a pantry protein staple of mine. There are really great quality canned fish products, and it's much less expensive than buying fresh or even frozen fish. Wild canned salmon is full of omega-3 fatty acids, which promote good heart health and brain health. Plus, salmon is a good source of protein, which will boost satisfaction from your meal." — Chelsey Amer, MS, RDN, CDN, creator of CitNutritionally.com

Dark Chocolate

"I always have dark chocolate in my pantry. Not only is it satisfying and delicious, but it also has health benefits. It contains minerals and antioxidants, and some research shows it can be good for cardiovascular health. I often counsel my clients to have sweet or enjoyable food on hand at all times. This lifts the restrictive feeling that dieting causes and gives the person permission to enjoy treats." — Marisa Michael, RDN, LD

Quinoa

"I always have quinoa on hand. This powerhouse whole grain is ready in fewer than 15 minutes. Quinoa is high in fiber and rich in protein and vitamins and minerals." — Alyssa Rothschild, RDN, CDN

Beans

"Beans are my go-to starch. They are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and plant-based protein. Canned beans, in particular, are affordable and great to keep on hand always. To reduce sodium intake, just rinse thoroughly through water when opening a can." — Gisela Bouvier

Sparkling Water

"I love sparkling waters to keep things interesting and tasty and keep my mind on consuming water all day. Sparkling waters without any added sugar are key. Plain is fabulous with some cucumbers and orange slices soaking in there." — Amy S. Margulies, RD, CDE, LDN

Low-Sodium Broth

"I always have boxes of low-sodium vegetable broth and chicken broth in my pantry to use as the base for soups and stews, use instead of water to make grains like quinoa and farro more flavorful, and add to savory oatmeal. Packaged broths can be very high in sodium, so it's important for people to choose low-sodium varieties and watch how much salt they add to dishes when using these products." — Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN

Pasta

"My favorite pastas are bean-based pastas for an increase in fiber and plant-based protein boost, but whole grain pastas are also great. Pastas make a great side dish or main course and provide a lot of nutrition for not a lot of money." — Gisela Bouvier

Canned Chickpeas

"I love the hearty, nutty flavor of chickpeas and add them to soups, sauces, and salads as a quick source of protein. Chickpeas are bursting with nutrients. A single half-cup serving provides six grams of fiber and is a good source of iron, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, copper, and manganese, which support functions such as oxygen transport, cell division, bone health, immunity, and digestive health. I look for canned chickpeas in a BPA-free can with no added salt." — Edwina Clark

Broccoli

"Broccoli is great raw, sautéed, roasted, added to soups, stews, and even tacos! [It is a] versatile food packed with phytochemicals, antioxidants, and fiber, and a cruciferous veggie known for potential cancer-fighting properties." — Cathy Leman

Chia Seeds

"These tiny seeds are nutritional superstars in my book because they contain a combination of filling fiber, protein, and healthy fats, so including them in any meal or snack will be sure to boost satiation with a nutritious punch. They're also extremely versatile and a great egg replacement in vegan recipes." — Chelsey Amer

Avocado

"The creamy mouthfeel makes avocados a great alternative to traditional mayonnaise and other spreads. Avocados are rich in cardioprotective monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, potassium, and vitamins E and C. I like to buy them in different stages of ripeness so I always have the perfect avocado readily available to spread on sprouted wheat bread and top with a perfect over-easy egg." — Suzanne Fisher

Fiber-Rich Bread

"Pair a slice of bread with some peanut butter or sliced avocado and a poached egg for an easy-to-prepare breakfast. Or toast a slice and top with some tuna or chicken salad, and serve open-faced with some lettuce and tomato for a quick lunch." — Courtney Schuchmann, MS, RD, LDN

Diced Tomatoes

"They're loaded with vitamin C and vitamin A and lycopene, which is a cousin to beta-carotene. Lycopene is also studied for its anticancer potential." — Jill Weisenberger

Nut Butter

"Whether it's peanut butter, almond butter, or even cashew butter, a nut butter is always in my pantry and/or fridge. Nut butters can provide a protein and fat boost over toast, with veggies, or in a smoothie." — Gisela Bouvier

Garlic and Onions

"I wouldn't know how to cook without them! They are both part of the allium family of vegetables, which are studied for their potential anticancer effects." — Jill Weisenberger

Cheese

"I like low-fat and regular cheeses; cheese makes almost any dish taste better! Using cheese in moderation adds some tasty tang to any sandwich, salad, pasta dish, eggs, etc., not to mention protein and calcium." — Amy S. Margulies

Dates

"Pair [dates] with greater than 85 percent chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth, blend into smoothies for natural sweetness, add to cookies, or stir into roasted cauliflower for a savory and sweet flavor. Dates contain fiber, potassium, antioxidants, calcium, iron, B vitamins, and phytochemicals." — Cathy Leman

Cookies

"I absolutely love cookies! Whether it's having a stock of Girl Scout cookies or bakery cookies, cookies are a must in my pantry. I enjoy eating something sweet when I desire it, and cookies satisfy me the most!" — Gisela Bouvier

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne
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