In the office, the refrigerator is sacred space—and you better start staking your claim. Packing the fridge with the right foods can help you make healthy choices all day long, steer clear of high-calorie temptations like birthday cupcakes, and avoid skipping meals, says Dr. Mike Roussell, a Men’s Health US nutrition advisor. Stock your section with these four must-have foods.
1. Plain Greek Yoghurt
If you’re trying to slim down, scoop up at least one serving of yoghurt while you’re on the job. In a study at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, people who ate 500ml of yogurt per day shed 22 percent more weight and 81 percent more belly fat than dieters who skipped the creamy snack. Greek yoghurt tends to be higher in protein than regular yogurt—a 110ml container contains about as much muscle-building protein as 85g of lean meat. Choose plain yoghurt and add berries, if you like, to avoid the heaps of sugar found in many of the fruit-flavoured varieties.
2. Baby Carrots
Even if you’d prefer a bag of chips, you’re more likely to eat healthier foods if they’re located more closely to you, according to researchers at Saint Bonaventure University in New York. Keeping a bag of baby carrots on hand, and Doritos and Oreos out of reach, means there’s a greater chance you’ll choose the high-fibre, low-calorie eats. Pair them with some hummus for an even more satisfying, protein-packed snack.
3. Green Iced Tea
Do you ever reach that point in your day when guzzling water just gets… old? Instead of heading to the vending machine for a sugar-laden cooldrink, reach into your fridge and grab a green iced tea. During a mid-afternoon energy slump, it can provide a temporary pick-me-up. “Green tea contains caffeine and L-theanine, two compounds that can enhance brain function,” Roussell says. While research has linked sugary drinks to high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, green tea is associated with a decreased risk of cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. Plus, EGCG, an antioxidant in green tea, can even help you lose weight.
Yes, the fridge is the place for these nuts to be—they’ll last longer there. “A small handful of almonds is the perfect portion for an afternoon snack,” Roussell says. “They contain fat, protein, and fibre, which are three nutritional factors that enhance feelings of fullness.” In fact, people who eat just one serving of tree nuts, such as almonds, per week are 46 percent less likely to be obese than those who don’t eat nuts, according to researchers at Loma Linda University. Just make sure to chew almonds as thoroughly as you can. The longer you mash them between your chompers, the more healthy, unsaturated fats you’ll absorb, say Purdue University researchers.
This article was originally published on menshealth.com