Heart-Healthy Essentials for Meal Prep

kitchen essentials for meal prep

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Heart-Healthy Essentials for Meal Prep

For hassle-free healthy meal prep, be prepared with a stocked pantry. Having some basic ingredients in your cabinets, refrigerator and freezer saves you time and worry on busy weeknights and even on weekends when you don’t have time to grocery shop.

Cabinets & Pantry

  • “Dinner builder” items: canned or dried beans, such as kidney, pinto, black, butter and navy; canned or pouched tuna, salmon and chicken; spaghetti sauce

  • Canned vegetables: for easy side dishes and adding to soups and sauces

  • Whole grains: brown rice, oats, couscous, bulgur and quinoa; whole-grain pastas, breads and tortillas (store extra bread and tortillas in the freezer); whole-grain flour or cornmeal for baking

  • Cooking oils: nontropical vegetable oils, such as olive, canola and corn

  • Nuts, seeds and nut butters: for stir-fries and garnishes (and satisfying snacks)

  • Broths: fat-free, low-sodium chicken, vegetable and beef — for making soups

  • Dried herbs and spices: keep a variety on hand and buy or create salt-free seasoning blends

Refrigerator & Freezer

  • Proteins: Unbreaded fish fillets, skinless chicken breasts, extra-lean or lean meats; tofu

  • Dairy products: low-fat and fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese

  • Soft margarine: made with nonhydrogenated vegetable oil and containing no trans fat

  • Frozen vegetables and fruits: choose a wide variety (lots of colors) without salty sauces and sugary syrups

Compare Nutrition Labels

  • Choose products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars and saturated fat, and no trans fat

  • Look for the Heart-Check mark to easily identify foods that can be part of your heart-healthy eating plan

 

For more tips, visit heart.org/healthyforgood.

© Copyright 2019 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit.  All rights reserved. Healthy for Good is a trademark of the AHA. Unauthorized use prohibited.

 

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