The best in new healthy foods

LOS ANGELES "What you stock your kitchen with is ultimately what's going to help you achieve body and diet success," said Erin Hobday, /*Self Magazine*/.

But it's tough to know what to toss in your cart.

So Self Magazine teamed up with dietitian Willow Jarosh to design nutritional criteria for dozens of foods.

"We looked at calories, the total fat, saturated fat, trans fat, protein, sodium, added sugar. We also looked at the food ingredients," said Jarosh.

Then readers crunched, munched and sipped on everything from juice, snacks, desserts to frozen meals.

"We sorted through hundreds of foods," said Hobday. "So we tasted over 400 products and we ended up with 54 winners."

Two winners were Barbara's Shredded Spoonfuls cereal and Van's All Natural 97 percent Fat Free Gourmet Waffles, both packed with whole grains.

"Readers really loved them," Hobday said. "They thought that they were toasty and crisp on the outside, but warm and soft on the inside."

Pepperidge Farm Vitality whole-grain bread was a hit for its soft and chewy texture.

"This bread met our whole grain and fiber requirements. It has a whole grain as the first ingredient," Jarosh said.

Cabots reduced fat cheese had a rich creamy taste, and readers preferred Smucker's Natural Peanut Butter above the rest.

"Since the peanut butter is natural it tasted like it was a little less salt in it," explained food tester Marissa Roberto. "It wasn't as heavy."

For best dressing, Newman's Own Lighten Up Honey Mustard dressing proved popular.

From the freezer, Lean Cuisine, Organic Bistro, and Kashi made the cut.

"What we looked for in frozen meals was to make sure that they had enough calories without going overboard on things like saturated fat and sodium," said Jorash.

Readers loved Kettle Brand Baked Potato Chips for salty cravings, and Kashi TLC Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars for their sweet tooth.

"The chocolate was really fudgy and wonderful and the granola was tasty, but it was also really filling as well," said food tester Rebecca Collins.

Keep in mind, chips, ice cream, and granola bars are things you include occasionally if you're keeping an eye on your health.

The winning treats have nice nutrition facts in comparison to others, but they're still treats.

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