7 Foods Every FOF Should Have in the Fridge

We like checklists. They’re perfect for leading us through problems we don’t have the knowledge or time to fully deal with. For many FOFs, the refrigerator poses one such problem. What exactly are the most healthful foods to have on hand? For a complete list, we turned to Julia Zumpano, Registered Dietician at The Cleveland Clinic. Julia was all too happy to share her FOF fridge cheat sheet:

  • Ground or Milled Flax Seed. “Sprinkle it on top of a salad, oatmeal or dry cereal. You can also mix it in yogurt, pasta, soup or bake it into muffins or bread.” Make sure to use ground or milled flax seed; the whole seeds are indigestible and accordingly, non-nutritious. The benefits:
    • Image• Omega 3 fatty acids to “regulate blood pressure, relieve swelling, keep the lining of the arteries smooth.”
      • “Fiber to help fill you up, regulate your bowel movements and control blood sugars.”
      • Antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer
      • Potassium to regulate blood pressure

  • Berries. “Some berries are higher in certain nutrients, but generally, they’re all very good. Think seasonality, freshness, ripeness.” The benefits:
    • Image• Folate to help reduce the risk of numerous diseases, including anemia, heart disease and stroke
      • Manganese for healthy skin and bones
      • Potassium, Vitamin C, Fiber

  • Non-fat Greek Yogurt. “Women over 50 tend to need a little additional calcium; this is good for that.
    Greek yogurt is ideal because it contains only a small amount of natural sugar. That said, a little bit of sweetener, or another flavorer, is acceptable.” Plus, it has double the protein of normal yogurt

  • Walnuts. “A nice source of phosphorus, niacin, and vitamin E to help promote strong bones and teeth, reduce cholesterol and strengthen your immune system.” More benefits:
    • Image• Omega 3 fatty acids
      • Fiber
      • Lean source of protein


  • Dark leafy greens. “Like berries, they’re all good–spinach, watercress, swiss chard, romaine, kale, mustard greens. Steam them, and preserve the juice that you cook them in to minimize the loss of the nutrients.” More benefits:
    • Image• Vitamins A, B2 and B6, C, E
      • Calcium
      • Folate, Copper, magnesium, potassium, zinc
      • Fiber

  • Salmon. “An excellent source of Omega 3s and lean protein.ImageEat wild-raised salmon if you’re concerned with mercury. The current USDA recommendation is that you can have up to twelve ounces of fish a week–even fish with high mercury content–and still be safe. One serving is 3 ounces, or about the size of a deck of cards.”

  • Legumes/beans. “Another excellent source of fiber.
    Try lentils, split peas, chickpeas, kidney beans, blackeyed peas, Great Northern Beans.” More benefits

    • • Vitamin B, folate, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, zinc

  • 3 foods to strike from your list:Image
    • Processed lunch meats, which tend to be high in sodium and fat content.
    • Butter, which has a lot of saturated fat and calories. “Use a liquid oil or a low-fat margarine that has no trans-fat.”
    • Sugary drinks like soda, punch, or juice.
Julia Zumpano
Cleveland ClinicJulia Zumpano is a registered dietitian with Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation and the Women’s Cardiovascular Center at the Cleveland Clinic. She counsels patients on cardio-protective diets, focusing on cholesterol reduction, controlling hypertension, and weight management.

0 Responses to “7 Foods Every FOF Should Have in the Fridge”

  1. Francesbean says:

    I agree with the other posters – I use butter in very small amounts – don’t do margarine for the reasons listed. I am eating more beans in a variety of good recipes – and you cover a couple things with beans and greens! MMmmmm!

  2. 1wicket46 says:

    Personally, I’d rather use a tiny bit of butter than any of the other options. Margerine is “plastic” and I will not eat that. Same with sugar…a tiny bit out-weighs anything imitation in my diet!

  3. csillag says:

    I disagree. There is nothing wrong with butter. Margarine on the other hand should be avoided like a plague.

  4. cobrateacher says:

    I have all the things listed on hand at all times. They’re such important basics!


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