Fridge Makeover: What to Stock, What to Skip

Photo by: Peter Mlekuz

Peter Mlekuz

For 2011, it’s out with the old and in with the new for your fridge and freezer. We’ve got 5 things to scratch off your shopping list and 5 fresher, healthier, and more affordable things to put in their place.

OLD
1. Sugar-sweetened soda
2. Yogurt with artificial sweeteners
3. Imported, out-of-season produce
4. Mayo, soy sauce and ketchup
5. Frozen entrees
NEW
1. Sparkling water
2. Nonfat plain Greek yogurt
3. Domestic (or local), seasonal fruits and veggies
4. Hummus, lite soy sauce, salsa
5. Homemade frozen chili, soup, or casseroles
Your Revitalized Refrigerator

Soda

You can save 100 calories per serving by swapping out soda and other sugar-sweetened beverages for sparkling water or seltzer. If you typically drink one can per day, the switch can lead to 10 pounds lost in 2011!

Yogurt

You’d be shocked how many low-calorie yogurts use artificial sweeteners to keep the calories down. Plain Greek yogurt doesn’t have any added sweeteners (artificial or otherwise) and it’s higher in protein. Sweeten it up yourself with fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.

Produce

Just because you can buy things like blueberries, asparagus and tomatoes in the dead of winter doesn’t mean you should. Buying produce in season and as locally as possible ensures that it’s fresh and nutritious. Eating with the seasons also helps you get in a wide variety of fruits and veggies throughout the year. Find out what to buy from month to month with our seasonal guide.

Condiments

Folks tend to forget that condiments count! They can add gobs of fat and sodium to your day. There’s nothing wrong with a little mayo, regular soy and ketchup on occasion but for daily use get more nutrients. Spread hummus on sandwiches, make stir-fry with 40 percent less sodium, and kick up the flavor of chicken, eggs, or rice dishes for only a few calories with salsa.

Frozen Entrees

Take a look at the sodium content on a typical frozen meal – even the lowest-sodium varieties contain over 25 percent of your daily needs. How about real home cooking instead of preservatives? Sure, it takes some extra time to prepare, but the health benefits are a huge reward – it’s undeniably time well spent! Get make-ahead meal ideas >>

TELL US: What’s stocked in your fridge for the New Year? What’s getting tossed?

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc., which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition. See Dana's full bio »

You Might Also Like:

Keep Reading

Next Up

Pantry Makeover: What to Stock, What to Skip

We’ve given you tips for the refrigerator, now it’s time to clean out that pantry. Besides tossing those expired products and wiping down those shelves, here are 5 items to stock up on and 5 things to toss.

5 Frozen Foods to Stock (and 5 to Skip)

Your freezer was created to preserve food for longer periods of time. But filling it with junk can sabotage any healthy eating plan. I’ll tell you which items to stock up on and which can lead to a bulging waistline.

6 "Healthy" Foods To Skip

These foods all sound healthy, but don't be fooled -- they may not be as healthy as they seem.

9 "Healthy" Foods to Skip

The word “healthy” can get tricky. Lots of foods get labeled good-for-you or may seem low-cal, but they're anything but. Here are 9 of the biggest offenders.

9 More “Healthy” Foods To Skip

We’re saying “healthy” because there’s a lot more to making nutritious choices than meets the eye. Lots of foods present themselves as healthy when they’re anything but. On the other hand, eating too much of some good-for-you foods can get you into trouble too. We started off with an original list of 9 but there are plenty more foods to watch out for.

Great Muffin Makeovers

A grab-and-go favorite, store bought muffins can average 400 to 500 calories each. Instead, make your own healthier version with same delicious ingredients for about half the calories.

Weekend Project: Clean Out the Fridge

Out with the old, in with the new! Take time this weekend to get a clean and healthy start by rooting out all those unrecognizable foods hiding in your refrigerator.

Katie's Healthy Bites: Upgrading Fridge Staples

Our intern, Karen, shared a photo of what's inside her refrigerator. Hoping to help her and her roommate eat healthier despite their budget and busy schedules, I gave her some suggestions for upgrades.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.