Stocking a Healthy Kitchen

Learn how to stock your kitchen to promote a healthy diet.
Table of contents

Stocking a Healthy Kitchen

Keeping a well-stocked kitchen can make it easier to prepare quick and healthy meals. It is helpful to stock your kitchen with a variety of basic foods, but it is best to buy fresh ingredients as you need them.

Make sure you have the following on your kitchen shelf:

    Brown rice and/or couscous Brown sugar
    Pasta Honey
    Bulgur or barley Cornstarch
    Beans (dried or canned) Baking powder and baking soda
    Fat-free refried beans Vinegar
    Reduced-fat condensed cream soups (a variety) Ketchup, mustard, light mayonnaise, and relish
    Chicken or beef broth Reduced-fat salad dressings
    Salsa or picante sauce Canned tuna or salmon (packed in water)
    Pasta sauce Peanut butter
    Vegetable cooking spray Ready-to-eat whole-grain cereals
    Vegetable oil, such as olive oil Oatmeal
    Herbs and spices Baking potatoes and/or yams
    Flour Dried fruit, such as apricots and raisins
    Sugar Bread crumbs

    Try to have the following in your refrigerator:

      Fresh fruit (variety) Parmesan cheese
      Fresh vegetables (variety) Low-fat margarine or butter spray
      100 percent fruit or vegetable juices Eggs or egg substitute
      Onions Low-fat sliced cheese
      Tortillas Reduced-fat deli meat, such as turkey breast
      Fat-free milk Bottled lemon juice
      Low-fat yogurt Light soy sauce and teriyaki sauce
      Low-fat cottage cheese Fresh garlic

      Try to have the following in your freezer:

      Frozen vegetables Lean meats (chicken breasts, lean beef, pork loin chops)
      Frozen chopped onions Fish
      Shredded low-fat cheese (a variety) Frozen yogurt, sherbet or sorbet; frozen juice bars

      Once you have your kitchen stocked, it is time to turn those ingredients into wholesome, nourishing meals the whole family will love.

      One large part of your stocked kitchen will probably be meat, poultry, and fish. These foods can contribute a huge part of your fat content for the day, so it is important to choose cuts carefully. Certain cuts of meat, poultry and fish are leaner than others. Look for these examples when stocking your kitchen:

      Healthy meat, poultry, and fish stock

      Beef: Choose USDA Select or Choice grades of lean beef trimmed of fat, such as round, sirloin, flank steak, eye of round, top round steak, top loin steak, tenderloin, roast (rib, chuck, rump), steak (porterhouse, T-bone, cube), ground round
      Poultry: Chicken or turkey (white meat, no skin), Cornish hen (no skin)
      Pork: Canadian bacon, tenderloin, center loin chop
      Lamb: Roast, chop, leg
      Veal: Lean chop, roast
      Fish: Fresh or frozen cod, flounder, haddock, halibut, trout, fresh tuna, tuna canned in water, fresh salmon, salmon canned in water, catfish, canned sardines
      Shellfish: Clams, crab, lobster, scallops, shrimp, imitation shellfish, oysters

      Substituting extra-lean ground beef, ground round, or ground turkey for regular ground beef will reduce fat content by 7 to 9 grams per ounce. That's a fat savings of 63 to 144 grams of fat in one pound of ground meat. Family favorites like Sloppy Joes, tacos, hamburgers, chili, spaghetti sauce, and meatloaf taste just as satisfying without all the saturated fat. To keep chicken, pork, or fish moist, poach it in heavy aluminum foil with herbs, onions, your favorite vegetables, and other flavorings. Secure the package well, and bake or grill.