They key to healthy eating is low-calorie, nutrient-rich variety. Grocery store shelves are full of tempting "low fat" snacks, many of which are loaded with sugar and preservatives. Stick with whole, natural foods that provide plenty of meal and snack options. High-fiber foods are always a good choice, according to CookingLight.com, because they keep you feeling full longer. Add variety to your grocery list by buying fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Brown rice is packed with nutrition. It ranks as one of the world's healthiest foods, according to whfoods.com, because it is not over-processed. One cup of cooked brown rice yields tons of fiber and vitamins in only 200 calories. Buy the basmati variety for a lighter, fluffier taste. Be creative and add flavor by cooking it with low-sodium chicken broth and chopped onions or bell peppers. Try rice as a breakfast cereal with milk and cinnamon.
Add eggs to your list. Low-calorie diets should be rich in protein. One egg can contain as much as seven grams of protein in only 70 calories. CookingLight.com lists eggs as one of the most healthy, versatile foods. They recommend adding eggs to vegetable-fried brown rice. Boil a few eggs and make a low-fat egg salad to spread on whole wheat bread. Sauté spinach and onions to create a tasty breakfast omelet.
Stock your refrigerator with nutrient-rich finger foods. Grapes are a delicious alternative to jelly beans or raisins. The Mayo Clinic loves them because they offer a large amount of vitamins for the calories. One cup of grapes contains around 100 calories. You would consume the same number of calories by eating only one forth a cup of raisins. Look for organic red or green grapes. Wash them immediately and package them for convenient on-the-go snacking.
Low-fat yogurt is a hearty breakfast option because, unlike carb-dense cereals, it contains plenty of protein to keep your body fueled. Eight ounces of plain, low-fat yogurt only contains about 140 calories, according to CookingLight.com. Yogurt is rich in mood-boosting B12 and healthy bacteria. Buy plain, low-fat yogurt and flavor it with fruit, nuts, and honey. Use yogurt as a sour cream alternative on baked potatoes and casseroles.
Healthy snacks are crucial to low-calorie diets. They curb hunger and keep your metabolism at an efficient rate. The Mayo Clinic recommends popcorn, noting that three-and-a-half cups of air-popped popcorn only contains 100 calories. Popcorn is high in fiber and low in sodium. Find a fun, air popcorn popper for around $20. Stay away from extra-large movie-theater tubs of popcorn with butter and microwave varieties that contain added flavorings.