With all the food options and cooking gadgets available today, it’s hard to know what’s actually healthy. To help us cut through the noise, our dietitian Meaghan Butler, RD, shares her top 10 food items and cooking gadgets that she just cannot live without in order to help her maintain a healthy, nutritious diet.

1. Spiralizer

A “spiralizer” cuts vegetables into noodle-like spiral shapes, making the consistency similar to pasta. A spiralizer is a great way to cut down on carbohydrates and calories, and adds fiber and nutrient-rich veggies to your diet that will help you stay healthy and full. Try substituting zuchinni “noodles” for pasta with marinara sauce and turkey meatballs.

2. Nine-inch Plate

Studies show that eating with a smaller, nine-inch plate can help you avoid over-eating, while still feeling full and satisfied.

3. Good Tupperware

With busy schedules, eating healthy can be challenging. Having good Tupperware can help you plan ahead for the week by cooking meals for the week ahead of time, or cutting and storing vegetables to cook with throughout the week.

4. Greek yogurt

Just one cup of Greek yogurt contains up to 25 percent of your daily value of calcium, and contains gut-friend probiotics that help with digestion. It’s also a great substitute for mayonnaise or sour cream, without the added saturated fat, which is harmful for your heart.

5. Pre-cut vegetables

Having vegetables pre-cut and ready to eat can make healthy snacking a breeze. Try cutting up some carrots, cucumbers or celery sticks to eat with guacamole, hummus or Greek-yogurt-based tips. Pro-tip: Place veggies in the front of your fridge to encourage yourself to choose those first!

6. Nut butter

Nut butter is a great way to add some protein and healthy fats to your diet that help you feel full. Try adding some almond butter to your oatmeal some peanut butter to fruit or celery. Typically two tablespoons is enough to keep you full.

7. Fresh herbs

Herbs add flavor, color and antioxidants. They can help “spice” up meals without extra calories, salt or fat. Grow your own basil, cilantro, or mint for an easy grab and grow seasoning option!

8. Avocado

Avocado is a great source of heart-healthy, omega-3 fatty acids. Add more healthy fat to your diet by adding avocado to your morning scrambled eggs, smoothies or atop your favorite sandwich/salad.

9. Frozen fruit

Fruit contains fiber, vitamins and antioxidants — all of which are vital for a healthy diet. Keeping the freezer stocked with frozen fruit is an easy way to always ensure you have fruit on hand and to avoid fresh fruit from going bad. Add frozen fruit (thawed or unthawed) to your favorite breakfast cereal or smoothie.

10. Seeds

Seeds are an excellent source of fiber, which helps with digestive health. Add flaxseed or chia seeds to Greek yogurt or oatmeal for added fiber. Roast pumpkin or sesame seeds with your favorite veggies for some added nutrients and flavor.

Meaghan Butler, RD, LDN

Meaghan Butler, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Meaghan is a registered dietitian and outpatient diabetes educator at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital.

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