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The Best Grocery Store Buys for Lunch

To make the cut, these lunchtime foods had to be low in saturated fat but offer plenty of whole grains, protein, and fiber -- the key building blocks for a healthy afternoon meal.

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Smucker?s Reduced Fat Natural Style Creamy Peanut Butter
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Best Low-Fat Cheddar Cheese

Cracker Barrel Reduced-Fat Extra Sharp
A crowd pleaser, this low-fat cheese tastes like the regular kind. Slice it for crackers, cube it for salads, or grate it for omelets.

Per ounce: 90 calories, 7g protein, 1g carbohydrate, 6g fat (3.5g saturated), 0g fiber

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Best Low-Fat Swiss Cheese

Sargento Reduced Fat
A full-flavored pick that won't wreck your diet even if you have two slices.

Per slice: 60 calories, 7g protein, 1g carbohydrate, 4g fat (2g saturated), 0g fiber

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Best Sliced Ham

Boar's Head Branded Deluxe Lower Sodium
Full of flavor, this packaged ham tastes deli-fresh.

Per 2 ounces: 60 calories, 10g protein, 2g carbohydrate, 1g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

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Best Sliced Turkey

Applegate Farms Organic Roasted Turkey Breast
No nitrates or added fillers -- just plain turkey breast. "Great on a sandwich. Not as salty as most deli turkey," one tester said.

Per 2 ounces: 50 calories, 12g protein, 0g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

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Best Sliced Bread

Nature's Pride 100% Whole Wheat
We loved the soft texture and chewy crust of this brand-new bread. Use it for a sandwich and you'll get almost one-quarter of your daily fiber intake.

Per slice: 110 calories, 5g protein, 20g carbohydrate, 1g fat (0g saturated), 3g fiber

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Best Wrap

MexAmerica 100% Whole Wheat Tortillas
Wraps at many restaurants are made with tortillas that are 300-plus calories. DIY with this brand and you'll keep the calories in check and get a serving of whole grains.

Per large wrap: 210 calories, 6g protein, 35g carbohydrate, 5g fat (0.5g saturated), 5g fiber

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Best Peanut Butter

Smucker's Reduced Fat Natural Style Creamy
"Thick and smooth without being too oily," one tester raved. This PB was a hit thanks to its fresh, peanuty aroma and easy stirring.

Per 2 tablespoons: 200 calories, 9g protein, 12g carbohydrate, 12g fat (2g saturated), 2g fiber

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Best Jelly

Bonne Maman Strawberry Preserves
If we had the time to can our own jam, this is what it would taste like: sweet, juicy chunks of fresh strawberry. Tres bon!

Per tablespoon: 50 calories, 0g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 0g fat (0g saturated), 0g fiber

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Best Prepackaged Lunch

Healthy Choice Fresh Mixers Southwestern Style Chicken
A perfectly portioned lunch for days when you don't have time to make your own. Stash a few in your desk (they don't have to be refrigerated) and enjoy fresh-tasting chicken with beans.

Per package: 310 calories, 13g protein, 60g carbohydrate, 2.5g fat (1g saturated), 5g fiber

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, July/August 2009.

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don405 wrote:

i will eat peanut butter but i won't buy the kind i have to put in the refrigerator, i never touch it once it finds a hiding spot in there. Plus i hate to try and spread the cold PB on bread, so it ends up getting tossed out. do i have to reefer the PB?

9/13/2012 02:05:05 PM Report Abuse
don405 wrote:

great story: if you include peanut butter, i'm all ears. great stuff. thanks

9/13/2012 02:02:16 PM Report Abuse
vibhasbrahma1 wrote:

you guys really need to do some serious research for healthy food suggestions. Compare Naturally More Peanut butter with your Smuckers peanut butter. This one is loaded with fat, carbs and less fiber. I would prefer Naturally more to Smuckers.

2/23/2011 02:31:41 PM Report Abuse
lgolivia1 wrote:

MALTODEXTRIN is a non natural man made sugar carbohydrate stripped from wheat or corn usually corn in the US but it's not good for the body!

8/3/2010 12:17:00 AM Report Abuse
lgolivia1 wrote:

Fitness Mag you guy's better HIRE some new people to do your 'HEALTHY FOOD RESEARCH'!! This is just as unhealthy as regular hygrogenated crap peanut butter! Get this Adams All Natural Peanut Butter is just that NATURAL. Peanuts and salt!

8/3/2010 12:13:57 AM Report Abuse
lgolivia1 wrote:

LABEL: Ingredients PEANUTS, MALTODEXTRIN (REPLACES FAT)**, FAT REDUCED GROUND PEANUTS**, SALT. **INGREDIENTS NOT IN REGULAR NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER.

8/3/2010 12:10:53 AM Report Abuse
ctw4girl wrote:

None of these is the healthiest options... I'm guessing the companies paid fitnessmagazine to promote them

4/5/2010 04:05:02 PM Report Abuse
meg_anr4 wrote:

12 grams of fat! that doesnt sound too healthy to me

3/9/2010 09:50:10 PM Report Abuse
rorimcpherson1 wrote:

This peanut butter is awesome!

12/28/2009 08:43:17 PM Report Abuse

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