Magazine reveals list of best healthy foods

June 22, 2010 4:56:07 PM PDT
With thousands of foods cramming store shelves, finding slimming and satisfying food isn't always easy. But who wants to give up favorites like ice cream and chips? A new list of healthy food can steer your grocery cart in the right direction. Nutritious and delicious can be a tall order when deciding what to grab at the grocery store. That's why SELF magazine went in search of the healthiest versions of some of our favorite packaged foods.

"The laundry list of criteria that we looked for are calories, total fat, saturated fat, sodium, fiber, vitamins and minerals," registered dietitian Stephanie Clarke said.

They had readers submit their favorites -- from juice to snacks -- and then they dished on the results.

Among the 66 winners were Thomas' Hearty Grains 100% Whole Wheat bagels, which checked in with under 250 calories. Readers say it doesn't skimp on flavor.

McCann's Instant Irish Oatmeal, Regular was the winner in the best "Unsweetened Instant Oatmeal" category.

Testers also loved Florida's Natural orange juice, which is loaded with Calcium and Vitamin D.

And Santa Cruz Organic Creamy peanut butter passed the ultimate taste test.

"It's a natural peanut butter, so it doesn't have a lot of additives, but it still tastes like the peanut butter you grew up with," taster Regina Davidson said.

Kashi TLC Stoneground 7 Grain Crackers is the winning cracker.

And Fage Total 0% took first place for best plain Greek yogurt. It's packed with protein.

The Honey Roasted Blue Diamond Almonds were a fan favorite, and it doesn't hurt that they're filled with healthy fats.

Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressing's Classic Ranch was the top pick for creamy dressing.

And Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella was the winning veggie burger.

And if you're looking for a frozen dinner, choose Healthy Choice Complete Meals' Golden Roasted Turkey or Lean Cuisine's Szechuan Style Stir Fry With or the Lean Cuisine Santa Fe-Style Rice & Beans.

"We looked for them to have enough calories. We looked for them to be under 700 milligrams of sodium," Clarke said. "We also wanted them to have a certain amount of vitamins and minerals."

For dessert, the best ice cream was Edy's/Dreyer's Slow Churned, Double Fudge Brownie. It's low calorie and loaded with brownies.

And Kettle Baked Hickory Honey Barbecue potato chips were also a hit.

So, now it's time to fill your fridge!

The USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center http://www.bcm.edu/cnrc/ at Baylor College of Medicine is recruiting volunteers for an eight-week, web-based program on healthy eating and physical activity.

Participants will log on to the website to view the program. They will also be asked to complete the questionnaires before and up to three times after the end of the eight-week program.

Participants must be between 12 and 17 years of age.

Volunteers will be compensated for their time. For more information, call Mary at 713-798-0501 or email mawhite@bcm.edu.

Below is the magazine's list of Healthiest Packaged Foods:

Best Unsweetened Instant Oatmeal: McCann's Instant Irish Oatmeal, Regular (100 calories, 2 g fat per packet)
Best Orange Juice: Florida's Natural Calcium & Vitamin D (110 calories, 0 g fat per cup)
Best Light Cream Cheese: Philadelphia 1/3 Less Fat Neufchatel (70 calories, 6 g fat per oz)
Best Bagel: Thomas' Hearty Grains 100% Whole Wheat (240 calories, 2 g fat per bagel)
Best Cracker: Kashi TLC Stoneground 7 Grain Crackers (130 calories, 5 g fat per 4 crackers)
Best Peanut Butter: Santa Cruz Organic Creamy (210 calories, 16 g fat per 2 tbsp)
Best Bread: Arnold Whole Grains 100% Whole Wheat (110 calories, 1 g fat per slice)
Best Pretzel: Herr's Whole Grain Pretzel Sticks (110 calories, 1 gram fat per 7 sticks)
Best Plain Greek-Style Yogurt: Fage Total 0% (120 calories, 0 g fat per 8 oz)
Best Nut: Blue Diamond Almonds, Honey Roasted (160 calories, 13 g fat per oz)
Best Frozen Meat Meal: Healthy Choice Complete Meals Golden Roasted Turkey Breast (290 calories, 4.5 g fat per meal)
Best Frozen Seafood Meal: Lean Cuisine Szechuan Style Stir Fry With Shrimp (230 calories, 2.5 g fat per meal)
Best Frozen Veggie Meal: Lean Cuisine Santa Fe-Style Rice & Beans (300 calories, 5 g fat per meal)
Best Veggie Burger: Boca Savory Mushroom Mozzarella (110 calories, 2.5 g fat per patty)
Best Creamy Dressing: Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressing, Classic Ranch (70 calories, 6 g fat per 2 tbsp)
Best Ice Cream: Edy's/Dreyer's Slow Churned, Double Fudge Brownie (120 calories, 4 g fat per 1/2 cup)
Best Potato Chip: Kettle Baked Hickory Honey Barbecue (120 calories, 3 g fat per oz)

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