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Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman on February 14, 2012


Elaine Magee, RD, MPH

© 2006 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved.

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Elaine Magee, RD MPH: I've been asked to take a look at this pantry to see what kinds of improvements we can make. Right off the bat I can tell you, there's not a lot of junk food in this pantry. There's one bag of potato chips. And I'm happy to see the beans. Beans are a "superfood". This is something you should be eating three times a week. And now we are on to the soups. It's a really good thing to have in your pantry, very convenient lunch and snack. The trick with soups though is you can get into some pretty high sodium levels and this particular one, a serving is almost a thousand milligrams. So if sodium is an issue for you and your medical condition go out of your way and kind of read the labels and try to find one that does have lower sodium.

Elaine Magee, RD (cont.): I'm also happy to see some walnuts or any other nut for that matter. Nuts, yes they're high in fats, I'll give you that, but they're good fats. They have a lot of monounsaturated fat, they have phytochemicals, they have fiber. I'm gonna move down to the oils now.

Elaine Magee, RD (cont.): Having one of these around is a really good idea for when you need to coat the surface of a food with a little bit of oil to crisp it up in the oven without having to drench it or deep fry it. Also in a pan instead of "glug, glug, glug, glug" with the oil. I would like to see a canola oil in here just because canola oil handles the high heat…the oven frying that I like to do a lot better than an olive oil would.

Elaine Magee, RD (cont.): This is an unbleached white flour. I would like to have whole wheat also, but you can keep that in your refrigerator, cause the germ in the whole wheat has vitamin E, it has a lot of polyunsaturated fats that you don't want to oxidize, so keep your whole wheat in the fridge; keep your unbleached white here. And in recipes, bakery recipes, muffins, cakes, cookies you can actually use half whole wheat, half white flour and you get a product that most people are really gonna like.

Elaine Magee, RD (cont.): I like the chicken stock in the pantry. I think that's a really good idea. It's a great fat replacement in stir-frys, casseroles… any time you would add say a quarter cup of butter or oil you can cut it down to a tablespoon or two and then make up the difference when moisture is needed with something quick and handy like chicken broth.

Elaine Magee, RD (cont.): And of course what would a pantry be without pasta? A lot of white pasta is available in this pantry, I would love to see some of the whole wheat grain blend pastas. There's quite a few brands out now, give them a try. They're better than you think they are.

Elaine Magee, RD (cont.): So basically as I look at this pantry, we're in pretty good shape, only a few little improvements to tweek. Looking good. For WebMD, I'm Elaine Magee.

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