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10 Worst Foods In Your Pantry continued...

6. Packaged Muffins and Cereal Bars

You expect Pop Tarts to be full of sugar (about 16 grams of sugar each) but you might be surprised to learn that even the more healthful sounding cereal bars or packaged muffins contain about the same amount of sugar (or more) than your typical toaster pastry. Otis Spunkmeyer brand muffins contribute about 30 grams of sugar per 4-ounce muffin, Weight Watchers muffins add about 20 grams of sugar per 2.2-ounce muffin, and a small Nutri-Grain cereal bar has 13 grams of sugar.

7. Crackers (made with refined flour)

They are so easy to eat a lot of because they are bite-size and crunchy. A few years ago crackers were held together with partially hydrogenated fat (which added trans fat) and now the trans fats are mostly gone, but most crackers are still low in fiber and high in sodium.

8. Yeast Breads (made with refined flour)

Yeast breads, from hot dog buns to Texas toast, made the “worst” list for two reasons: They are one of the biggest sources of refined flour in the typical American diet and they are also the No. 1 source of sodium among the U.S. population.

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.

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