Ever wondered what the health pros keep in their kitchens? Diabetic Living dietitian Lisa Urquhart shares her healthy fridge and pantry tips to help you buy better - and feel great!
WHAT'S IN MY PANTRY
Dried legumes Lentils, chickpeas, white beans, borlotti beans and black beans. I add these to soups and stews, or make a black-bean salsa. They’re high in fibre and a great vegetarian source of protein.
Canned legumes Lentils, chickpeas and four-bean mix – with no added salt – for when I’m short on time.
No-added-salt canned tomatoes These contain beneficial lycopene that may protect against certain types of cancer.
Dried pasta Always handy for a quick bolognese.
Basmati rice and brown Doongara rice Lower GI than Jasmine rice, these are perfect for an easy mid-week stir-fry or curry.
Nuts and seeds They’re high in monounsaturated fats and great to add to salads, curries, porridge, pasta, or to mix into muffins.
Oats These are high in fibre and beta glucan, and low GI, so keep me feeling full until lunch.
Tea I have all types of tea but my favourite is English breakfast. It’s chock full of antioxidants and a wonderful comfort drink!
Australian extra virgin olive oil I use this in everything from prepping roasts to salad dressings. It’s loaded with wonderful heart-health fat.
Sesame oil and peanut oil Unsaturated oils that I use when I’m cooking Asian-style.
Dried herbs and spices To boost flavour and make a meal special. They also contain antioxidants.
Wholegrain rice crackers and Vita-Weat crispbreads Perfect as snacks teamed with a little cheese or peanut butter. They’re low in fat and higher in fibre than many alternatives.
Canned salmon and sardines I take these to work for salads, or to have in a small wrap. They’re high in omega-3, good for brain and heart health, but I go for the low-salt options. Salt can creep up on you.
Mayver’s Peanut Butter Just the peanuts, a pinch of salt and nothing else!
Low-salt chicken stock powder Brings out the flavour in plenty of dishes.
WHAT'S IN MY FRIDGE?
Lite milk High in calcium and lower in fat than regular milk.
Greek-style low-fat yoghurt I choose brands high in calcium and with no added sugar.
Cheese I admit I love it and have cheddar, low-fat cream cheese, ricotta and blue vein in my fridge. I’m careful with my portions and try to stick to ricotta because it’s lower in fat and cheddar, for higher calcium.
Tahini (sesame seed paste) A great addition to Lebanese dishes, such as hummus, and is high in monounsaturated fatty acids.
A few (too many) jars of curry paste For days when I don’t want to make my own.
Sliced chicken A lean protein I use for lunches.
Free-range eggs An excellent source of lean protein, I love a hardboiled egg for breakfast.
Kimchi It’s a traditional fermented vegetable Korean dish. I have a jar from a Korean lady who lives nearby, so it’s as authentic as you’ll get, but it’s quite easy to make. It adds zing to barbecued meats, and fermented foods like this are a great source of probiotics.
Fresh fruit and vegetables These make up the bulk of my meals. I buy what’s in season because they’re fresher with more vitamins and minerals, and cheaper, too.
Lean pork cutlets, chicken and rump steak I choose lean meats to reduce my saturated fat intake. I plan my meals using all of the meat for the week ahead to reduce waste and extra trips to the supermarket.
Other flavours Tomato paste, fish sauce, reduced-salt soy sauce and miso paste add lots of flavour without overloading on fats and sugars.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc I’d like to say this is for cooking, but it’s too good not to enjoy a glass every now and then!
Soda water My friend bought me a Soda Stream for Christmas, and I love making water more interesting!
WHAT'S IN MY FREEZER?
A few frozen meals that I make on the weekend From lamb korma to minestrone, these provide easy meals throughout the busy week.
Frozen peas, broad beans and corn Just as good as the fresh varieties and so convenient.
Bürgen Soy-Lin Bread I only have a few slices of bread each week, so I store it in the freezer to keep it fresh. This one is full of seeds, low GI and relatively low in carbs. It keeps me feeling full for ages.
Chillies My chilli plant is on steroids; I can’t get enough! I freeze them in snap-lock bags to use when I like.
Reduced-fat puff pastry Lower in fat then the regular variety, I use this to make quiches or pies.
Frozen berries I have these with my porridge in the morning, or with a little yoghurt for an afternoon snack.
Connoisseur Gourmet Ice Cream, Classic Vanilla A little bit with passionfruit or sliced, fresh strawberries will hit the spot!