Four Powerhouse Pantry Items

While the nutrition world is often touting different foods as having "powerhouse" properties, you may be feeling like you don’t have any of those in your cupboards or that you need to spend a fortune to obtain them. Thankfully, that is not the case!

The budget-friendly foods that you may already own

Look no further than your very own pantry for some inexpensive and nutrient-rich powerhouse foods that are a great part of any diet, even when you are living with type 2 diabetes.

1: Peanut butter

One of my personal favorites, peanut butter (and most nut butter), is a great staple for all pantries and diets. Loaded with healthy fats that may help maintain a healthier cardiovascular status, peanut butter can be used in all kinds of ways. Try it on a pancake in place of syrup, use it in a recipe for homemade granola, or even add it to your favorite stir fry for a peanut sauce flavor! Peanut butter adds a burst of protein to any dish. Between the high protein and high-fat content, peanut butter is a budget-friendly powerhouse food that can help you to stay satisfied.

2: Canned tuna fish

Canned tuna fish is a great low-cost powerhouse food. With zero carbohydrates and lots of protein, canned tuna is a diabetes diet-friendly choice! Consider adding tuna to a salad, using it as a replacement for chicken in a stir fry or casserole, or even forming it into patties. Canned tuna is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which may help decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.

3: Quinoa

This grain may be new to you but is definitely worth a try. Quinoa is one of the few plant-based foods that is considered a complete protein because it contains all nine of the essential amino acids that your body needs. It is loaded with iron, B vitamins, and fiber, which leads to that nice full feeling we hope for after eating a meal. Quinoa can be used to replace meat but can also be used instead of rice or pasta. Try adding it to a salad, eating it with marinara sauce in your favorite Italian dish, or even as a rice alternative in a soup or stir fry!

4: Canned beans

Canned beans such as black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas are budget-friendly and protein-packed powerhouse foods. They are high in protein and fiber and can be used in a variety of ways. Importantly, canned beans tend to be high in sodium. If the high sodium content is concerning, rinse beans before consumption to decrease the sodium content by up to 40 percent! Also, beans contain carbohydrates, so be sure to account for these in a diabetic diet. Beans are a great addition to salads or soups and can even be made into burgers.  

Take a peek through your pantry. Do you see any of these powerhouse foods that you can incorporate into your meals? If not, add a few of these to next week’s grocery list!

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