15 Easy Pantry Upgrades for a Healthier 2018

Getting healthy and losing weight isn't about deprivation, denial, or eating less: Eating healthy is all about eating smart.

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Simply Avocado instead of processed condiments

foodvia eatwholly.com
Avocadoes are great and healthier than you realize: They're full of good-for-you fats that work to boost nutrient absorption of vitamins A, D, E, K—and they're delicious. The only flaw—once you slice one open and eat half, you're left with a second half that'll quickly brown. "I love that Simply Avocado lets you eat as much avocado at a time as you want without worrying about how to pack it or wasting what you don't use," says Sammi Haber, MS, RD, CDN of Nutrition Works NY. They do the hard work by peeling and blending avocado with nothing but simple ingredients—Haas avocados and sea salt, for example—and zero preservatives, and then put the blend in a resealable container. With Simply Avocado there's no need for any processed, sodium-filled condiments.

Gr8nola instead of processed, sugar-added granolas

foodvia gr8nola.com
Granola sounds good and healthy, but unless you make your own from scratch—here's how—more often than not it's filled with high amounts of added sugars and processed ingredients. "These blends are made only with ingredients like whole grain oats, nuts, flaxseed, and cinnamon making them a great option for the health-conscious consumer who is trying to avoid hydrogenated palm oils, high fructose corn syrups, and GMO's, all of which are often found in granolas," say The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT. "At five grams Gr8nola is also lower in sugar than most granolas which usually have 10-15 grams... more than some desserts!" They recommend keeping portions in check by adding a couple teaspoons of Gr8nola on top of yogurt, sliced fruit, cottage cheese, or pre-portioning in re-sealable bags for a sweet, crunchy snack.

GG Crackers instead of bread and grains

foodvia ggbrancrispbread.com
GG Crackers are a low calorie, high-fiber crispbread that you can use in place of bread and grains. The original GG cracker flavor is 20 calories per cracker with four grams of fiber. It's made only with wheat bran, whole grain rye flour, and salt. "They're a source of carbohydrates and work to fill you up without filling you out," says Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD and founder of the F-Factor Diet. "Fiber absorbs and removes fat and calories and boosts metabolism, which also aids weight loss efforts." Zuckerbrot recommends pairing these crackers with protein to help keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Halo Top instead of ice cream

foodvia halotop.com
The Nutrition Twins say this one is a personal favorite and one they often recommend to clients looking to keep their sweet tooth in check. "Halo Top is a lightened-up, decadent-tasting dessert making it a fantastic swap for calorie-loaded indulgences like ice cream. Each flavor has just 60-90 calories per serving with six grams of protein and three grams of fiber, all of which work to prevent sugar highs and crashes and keep blood sugar stable." Check out 50 other healthy supermarket finds.

Cassava Crunch instead of potato chips

foodvia plantsnacks.com
"Cassava Crunch is made from vegetables and all real ingredients, which is always a plus," says Haber. You'll get the same crunch as you would a regular chip, but with added nutrients. Plus Cassava Crunch is gluten- and grain-free. Note that while these are lower in fat, sodium, and sugar and have a cleaner list of ingredients than most crunchy alternatives, they're just as high in calories; if you're watching your waistline, eat these in moderation.

PB2 instead of peanut butter

foodvia amazon.com
Everyone loves peanut butter—seriously, it's one of our secret ingredients for great cookies. That's where PB2 can come in handy: It's an all-natural powdered peanut butter made by removing the fat and oil from the peanuts and resulting in 85 percent fewer fat calories than traditional peanut butter. "The addition of peanut butter in a recipe can add fat and calories rapidly, making PB2 the perfect healthy swap," says Zuckerbrot. "The powder can be mixed with water to create peanut butter, or used as a flavor like other powders in smoothies, cookies, or truffles—the original flavor has just 45 calories and 1.5 grams of fat compared with Skippy Natural Peanut Butter, which has 190 calories and 16 grams of fat!"

Surkin Fiber Syrup instead of maple syrup

foodvia sukrinusa.com
You're always trying to get more fiber—here are 30 ways to squeeze it into your diet. But we bet you never thought you'd get your fiber fix from syrup—but you can. One hundred percent of your daily requirement, in fact, thanks to Sunkin Fibery Syrup. "If you want to get prebiotic fiber to nourish your good gut bacteria from an untraditional source, this low-calorie and low-carb, honey and syrup alternative is a unique way to get it while flavoring your pancakes, desserts, coffee, teas, etc.," say The Nutrition Twins. "Unlike many syrups that are full of preservatives, this syrup has no artificial additives, colors or preservatives and is made from a plant fiber that provides the prebiotic fiber."

Kite Hill instead of dairy cheese

foodvia kite-hill.com
You don't need a dairy allergy or intolerance to fall head over heels for Kite Hill vegan cheese. The almond-milk-based products taste amazing while boasting a clean list of good-for-you ingredients. Amy Gorin, MS, RDN singles out their ricotta and cream cheese for being particularly great. "I like that the ingredients list for both is short and you get some protein in the products because of the almonds. The ricotta, for instance, supplies three grams of protein per ounce and the cream cheese contains fewer calories and fat when compared to traditional cream cheese." Here are some more great vegan meal ideas.

Chosen Foods Coconut Oil Spray instead of cooking spray

foodvia amazon.com
Coconut oil is surprisingly versatile—here are some uses for coconut oil you probably never thought about. It also makes a great cooking oil. Chosen Foods Coconut Oil Spray makes it easy to use coconut oil in a spray form, which means you can use just a little bit of oil to bring down the calories in a dish. "This is a good alternative to traditional coconut oil—it has no chemicals or propellants," says Gorin. The only ingredient is non-GMO coconut oil.

The Real Coconut instead of corn tortilla chips

foodvia therealcoconut.com
For starters, The Real Coconut's tortilla chips and wraps are allergy-friendly. "If you have celiac disease or if you have dairy, gluten, or wheat allergies or intolerances, you can feel confident that you can safely enjoy these without worrying since they're made from coconut flour," say The Nutrition Twins. "The Real Coconut's products are also organic and free from refined sugars."

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