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What are some grocery staples to have on hand if you want to eat healthy during self-isolation?

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Eating healthy during a pandemic doesn’t have to be hard. Load up on go-to items you can tap into in an emergency, or when you lack the energy to whip up a full meal. They include:

Oats. They are high in soluble fiber, which may help lower blood cholesterol. You can toss them into homemade smoothies, cookies, and pancakes.

Whole-grain ready-to-eat cereals. Choose a cereal that lists a whole grain as the first ingredient. Look for at least 3 grams of dietary fiber per serving. Many breakfast cereals are very high in added sugar. One serving of cereal on average can have up to a third of the sugar you need for the whole day.

Brown rice. It’s a healthier side dish option than white rice because it has more fiber and protein as well as minerals such as selenium.

Whole-grain pasta. It’s higher in dietary fiber and protein than enriched pasta. You can eat it as an entrée with pasta sauce, or toss it into soups, casseroles, or salads.

Beans and lentils. These are a great alternative source of protein to chicken and meat. Use them to beef up salads, soups, chili, or even pasta. Buy dried ones and soak and cook them in water. Or rinse canned ones to flush away any sodium.

Canned tuna, salmon, and sardines. These are high in protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fats.

Canned tomatoes. They are a versatile way to add a serving of veggies. Use them for sauces, soups, and chili. Look for ones that are low sodium or have no added salt.

Low-sodium stocks and broths. These are a great low-calorie way to add flavor to soups, stir-fries, and sauces.

Dairy. Milk, including nut milk, that has been pasteurized with ultra-high temperatures doesn’t need to be refrigerated and lasts a long time. Some yogurts can be high in sugar, so read the labels.

Frozen fruits and veggies. These foods are more important than ever during isolation, as they provide a variety of nutrients that help boost your immunity. Frozen fruits and veggies keep almost as many of the nutrients as the fresh versions. Canned options can be good, too. Just watch sodium and buy fruit packed in juice, not syrup.

SOURCES:

Hunter: “Food Study 2020: America Gets Cooking: The Impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ Eating Habits.”

Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics: “Creating a Grocery List,” “Family Dinners in a Flash.”

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: “Brown Rice Versus White Rice: Which is Healthier?”

American Heart Association: “Healthy Cooking Oils.”

Medical University of South Carolina: “A Healthy Quarantine.”

UC Davis Health: “Simple and healthy snack ideas during COVID-19 quarantine.”

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on May 15, 2020

SOURCES:

Hunter: “Food Study 2020: America Gets Cooking: The Impact of COVID-19 on Americans’ Eating Habits.”

Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics: “Creating a Grocery List,” “Family Dinners in a Flash.”

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: “Brown Rice Versus White Rice: Which is Healthier?”

American Heart Association: “Healthy Cooking Oils.”

Medical University of South Carolina: “A Healthy Quarantine.”

UC Davis Health: “Simple and healthy snack ideas during COVID-19 quarantine.”

Reviewed by Michael W. Smith on May 15, 2020

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What are some grocery shopping tips for eating healthy during the pandemic?

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