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10 Worst Foods In Your Pantry continued...

9. Store-Bought Cookies (especially the chocolate coated ones)
Grain desserts, which includes cookies, are a major source of added sugars, more so than dairy desserts or candy, according to a new report. Some commercial cookies are higher in fat, saturated fat and sugar than others but they all usually start with refined flour. The chocolate coated cookies tend to have the most saturated fat (about 5 grams per 3 cookie serving).

10. Canned Soup and Instant Noodle Cups
Some choices in the soup aisle have half a day’s worth of sodium in a serving. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend half the U.S. population, including people aged 51 and older and those of any age who are African-American or have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, reduce their sodium to 1,500 milligrams a day.

10 Best Foods In Your Pantry

1. Unsalted or Lightly Salted Nuts
With three times the protein and fiber as potato chips but none of the sodium, nuts are pantry favorites of Neva Cochran, MS, RD, a nutrition consultant in Dallas. “Unsalted nuts beat chips as a filling snack to thwart hunger,” says Cochran.

2. Low-Salt Canned Beans
Beans are a great source of protein, phytochemicals, and fiber and they are on Leopold’s list of “best” foods to have in your pantry. All the major bean types are available in a “less salt” or “reduced sodium” option. Just open a can, rinse, drain, and pour the beans into your stew, salad, casserole, or chili.

3. Low-Salt Canned Tuna or Salmon
Packed with heart-smart omega-3s, salmon or tuna in a can or pouch can make a quick sandwich or casserole super convenient. Canned tuna is one of Cochran’s go-to pantry protein sources with 26 grams of quality protein per 5-ounce can.

4. Lower Sugar Instant Oatmeal
Making oatmeal from scratch is best, but if you only have a few minutes in the morning instant oatmeal is the start of a quick and balanced breakfast. Make it with low or nonfat milk instead of water to add protein and calcium. While it’s cooking in the microwave, chop up some fresh or frozen fruit to stir in once it’s done. The lower sugar instant oatmeal brands have around 25% less sugar than the regular types, but you still get 3 grams fiber and 4 grams protein per packet.

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