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A guide to spring pantry essentials

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APRIL 04, 2016

Midterm season is wrapping up soon and amid the need to get done with your laundry lies the task of dealing with a desolate fridge. It is very easy to just pick up tortilla chips and sugary cookies, but these are not the healthiest of options. We at the Clog have come up with some health conscious food options to help you stay away from unhealthy snacks, so keep these options in mind next time you shop at Trader Joe’s or Safeway.

Heeral Shivnani/Staff

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Majority of packaged foods today will contain some amount of additive, preservative or flavorings to promote longer shelf-life and improved taste. The key is to skim through labels and select items that have the least amount of unfamiliar ingredients. Think about it: Would you really want to put something in your body without knowing what it is exactly? So instead of opting for fructose syrup- and hydrogenated oil-laden graham crackers, a pack of Triscuits seems like a much wiser option.

Heeral Shivnani/Staff

The same rule applies to packaged drinks. It is easy to believe that a bottle of Naked fruit juice that comes without any “added sugar” from GBC is a pretty healthy substitute for a cold slushy drink. But it impacts your body in pretty much the same way as any regular juice drink. If you take a closer look on the label, you will notice the disclaimer: This is not a low-calorie food. So instead of grabbing a random self-proclaiming “healthy drink,” opt for one with ingredients such as kale or carrots for a lower sugar content.

At the end of the day, however, nothing replaces eating an actual fruit. No fruit juice can contain the original fiber content in a whole fruit. Therefore, it makes greater sense to keep a stock of easy-to-eat mandarins from Trader Joe’s in your backpack rather than stocking up on such costly alternatives.


Heeral Shivnani/Staff

How could you fulfill your craving for flavored water without the sugar? Flavored sparkling water is a good alternative to sodas or other sugar-laden juices. Walgreen’s on Telegraph Avenue currently stocks only Nice!, which contains a whole list of muddling ingredients, such as aspartame, an artificial sweetener. A better selection would be Cascade organic sparkling water, which has organic essences from fruit oils and extracts, and nothing else. Simple.

Heeral Shivnani/Staff

In reality, you don’t even need to go through the trouble of looking for such specifics and bounce from store to store. Just purchase a simple infusion water bottle, and make your own personalized flavored water. Once mint leaves or lemon slices are placed in the infuser, you can repeatedly add water during the day to enjoy the same flavors. What better way to beat the Berkeley heat?

Contact Heeral Shivnani at [email protected].

APRIL 03, 2016