Best of the Best

The 2018 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards

The Eat This! editors top picks for all your favorite grocery items.

The 2018 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards

The 2018 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards

The Eat This! editors top picks for all your favorite grocery items.

10,000. That’s how many new food products were introduced in grocery stores last year. The average supermarket carries 38,900 items, according to the Food Marketing Institute.

With so many new and old choices, how do you choose the cleanest, healthiest best and avoid the packages that are filled with unpronounceable preservatives and loaded with sugar? You let Eat This, Not That! do the heavy lifting for you. We’ve scoured the aisles looking for the best of the best in 9 categories of foodstuffs to come up with our 2018 Eat This, Not That! Food Awards.

Eat healthier and reach your weight-loss goals with our picks
for the best packaged groceries in the supermarket. And for more of our absolute favorite products, don’t miss these 20 Best New Groceries of 2017.

Nut Butters

ETNT food awards nut butter Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Justin’s Maple Almond Butter

2 Tbsp: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 6 g protein

This spread may convert those peanut butter lovers who find almond butter too bland. Note: Contains some palm oil.

2. Manna Organics, Manna Butter–Sprouted Almond Espresso

2 Tbsp: 150 calories, 12 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 160 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 5 g protein

Manna energizes its almond/cashew butter with an infusion of ground espresso beans and Himalayan pink salt.

3. SunButter, Sunflower Butter

2 Tbsp: 220 calories, 20 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 6 g protein

For those allergic to tree nuts, this could be your go-to bread spread. Just a tiny amount of added sugar and salt.

4. MaraNatha Banana Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp: 180 calories, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (3 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

No need to peel a banana for your PB&B sandwich—the banana is already in this spread. It’s creamy, smooth, and delicious.

5. Nuttzo 7 Nut & Seed Butter, Chocolate Power Fuel

2 Tbsp: 190 calories, 16 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein

Stir this spread into oatmeal or spread it on toast. The blend of peanuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, almonds, cashews, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds will bring a delicious change of pace to your morning toast.

6. Crazy Richard’s All-Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 Tbsp: 190 calories, 16 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

All PB ingredients labels should read like Crazy Richard’s: “Peanuts.” That’s it. No sugar, salt, or palm oil added.

Cold Breakfast Cereals

Cold breakfast cereals eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Back to the Roots Organic Cocoa Flakes

1 cup: 110 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, n/a g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein

Satisfy your craving for kids’ cereal with this low-sugar option that stays crunchy in milk.

2. Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Warm Cinnamon Oat Cereal

¾ cup: 120 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 75 mg sodium, 26 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 3 g protein

Os and hearts made of whole-oat flour with a sweet hint of cinnamon. These are low in sodium, too.

3. Erewhon Harvest Medley

1 cup: 110 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 3 g protein

There are no added sugars in this cereal and only two ingredients. You’ll love the taste. Top it with blueberries to add more fiber and flavor.

4. Love Grown Chocolate Comet Crispies

¾ cup: 100 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (3 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 3 g protein

Remember Cocoa Krispies? The cereal that turned your bowl into chocolate milk? This tastes similar but delivers 60 fewer calories, much less sodium, and 9 fewer grams of sugar.

5. Freedom Foods Barley+ Toasted Muesli Pink Lady Apple & Macadamias

⅔ cup: 240 calories, 8 g fat (1.1 g saturated fat), 15 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (17 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 8 g protein

Muesli is granola after a cardio session: leaner and healthier. This mix of barley and nuts packs 17 g of fiber in a serving.

6. Barbara’s Puffins Cereal

¾ cup: 90 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 3 g protein

This cereal isn’t new, but it tastes great even while keeping its sugar content to just 5 grams. It also delivers 5 g of fiber.

Breakfast Foods

Breakfast items eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Atkins Farmhouse-Style Sausage Scramble

1 bowl: 340 calories, 27 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 940 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 20 g protein

A fast traditional breakfast for low-carb, high-protein eaters. Just be wary of the sodium content of this frozen meal, especially if you have high blood pressure.

2. Applegate Naturals Bacon (No Sugar)

2 pan-fried slices: 60 calories, 5 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 4 g protein

From antibiotic-free pork and made without synthetic sodium nitrite. Also, there’s no sugar.

3. Kodiak Cakes Protein-Packed Cornbread Mix

¼ cup dry mix: 140 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 340 mg sodium, 27 g carbs (3 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 8 g protein

Made from whole-grain wheat flour, whole grain corn meal, and, unlike many muffin mixes, a boost of protein from whey protein concentrate.

4. Egg Land’s Best Hard Boiled Peeled Eggs

1 egg: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 6 g protein

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a more convenient, natural high-protein snack. These hard-boiled eggs are already peeled and come in a resealable pouch. The best part: They contain double the omega-3 fats of regular eggs.

5. Applegate Naturals Organic Chicken & Apple Breakfast Sausage

3 links: 120 calories, 8 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 340 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

The ingredients list is short and contains nothing unfamiliar. The sausages are delicious even when nuked in a microwave.

Yogurt, Dairy, Alternatives

Yogurt dairy alternatives eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Chobani Smooth, Black Cherry

1 container: 120 calories, 1.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 11 g protein

For those who don’t want a Greek yogurt so thick you can stand a spoon in it, Chobani offers a soupier version. Delicious, but note that it’s a little high in sugars.

2. Muuna Cottage Cheese, Classic Plain 4%

½ cup: 110 calories, 4.5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 380 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 14 g protein

Muuna, a newcomer to the U.S. market, makes a creamy small-curd cheese and teams it with peach, mango, strawberry, and blueberry. Also in plain.

3. Siggi’s Icelandic-Style 2% Skyr, Blueberry

1 tube: 50 calories, 1 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 5 g protein

A great way to pack protein into kids’ lunches, without a lot of sugar.

4. Icelandic Provisions Skyr Blueberry with Billberry

1 container: 130 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (1 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 15 g protein

It takes four cups of milk to make one cup of skyr, a thick Icelandic yogurt that contains more protein than most other yogurts. Other versions contain cloudberries and lingonberries.

5. Kite Hill Almond Milk Cream Cheese Style Spread, Jalapeño

1 oz: 80 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 1 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

A velvety smooth godsend for the lactose intolerant who miss having a bagel with a schmear.

6. Carrington Farms Ghee with Pink Himalayan Salt

1 Tbsp: 120 calories, 13 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Ghee is an ancient cooking fat that’s lactose-free and high in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been associated with weight-loss benefits.

Fish

Fish eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Ian’s Gluten Free Fish Sticks

6 sticks: 190 calories, 5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 170 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 11 g protein

Unlike a lot of fish sticks, which are made from minced pollock, these are cut from whole Alaskan pollock fillets and lightly breaded with crunchy cornflake crumbs. If you have kids, don’t let these fish get away.

2. FishPeople Wild Alaskan Salmon Kit, Meyer Lemon & Herb Panko

1 fillet with ½ topping: 240 calories, 10 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 9 g carbs (0 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 27 g protein

You get two fillets in this kit, which cook in the supplied foil container. The toppings will make you look like you’ve done this before.

3. Wild Planet Wild Mackerel Skinless and Boneless Fillets

2 oz, drained: 100 calories, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 140 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 13 g protein

An easy way to eat more fish. Like sardines, mackerel is an excellent source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. And it’s among the least expensive varieties of popular fatty fish.

4. Starkist Tuna Creations with Rice & Beans in Hot Sauce

3-oz pouch: 110 calories, 3 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 420 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

Perfect for a high-omega-3 lunch, the pouch packs all the macronutrients you need to fuel the second half of your day.

5. Love the Wild Striped Bass with Roasted Red Pepper Almond Sauce

1 fillet with sauce: 330 calories, 18 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 460 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 39 g protein

Grab a few of these and invite friends over for dinner. We won’t divulge that it’s a meal kit. Other species are available, but the striped bass is outstanding.

Frozen Meals

Frozen meals eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Blake’s Turkey Shepherd’s Pie

1 cup: 250 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 290 mg sodium, 29 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 14 g protein

A hunger-satisfying comfort meal made so it’s quick and low in fat.

2. Dr. Praeger’s Super Greens Veggie Burgers

1 burger: 100 calories, 5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 250 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 2 g protein

Microwave one or two at work for lunch. They’re only 100 calories apiece and they’re loaded with veggies: collard greens, turnip greens, spinach, mustard greens, kale, Swiss chard, and quinoa and other natural ingredients.

3. Tribali Foods Chipotle Chicken Patties

1 patty: 140 calories, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 410 mg sodium, 3 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 22 g protein

Toss one of these free-range chicken patties in a grill pan and team it with an avocado and arugula salad for a speedy Paleo dinner.

4. SmartMade Pesto Chicken & Orzo

1 package: 350 calories, 10 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 620 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (6 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 24 g protein

There are no artificial preservatives in this frozen dinner of grilled white chicken meat, lots of broccoli, and roasted vegetables.

5. Mama Mancini Chicken Stuffed Meatballs

2 meatballs, 1/3 cup sauce: 150 calories, 8 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat), 500 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 12 g protein

You’ll like the fact that these meatballs contain all-natural ingredients and you don’t have to make them. Hand-stuffing the meatballs with this five-cheese mixture would take your grandmother a half a day.

Pastas

Pasta eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Pamela’s Organic & Gluten-Free Spaghetti

2 oz dry: 200 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 40 g carbs (1 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 8 g protein

For the gluten-conscious, this mixture of pea protein and white and sprouted brown rice flours makes for a satisfying pasta that works well as a foundation for marinara sauce or any sort of protein and vegetables.

2. Barilla ProteinPLUS Elbows

2 oz dry: 190 calories, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (4 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 10 g protein

The ridges on these twisted elbows made with barley, oats, flaxseed, chickpeas, lentils and egg whites hold your sauce in place so you don’t have to sop it up with bread when you finish your meal.

3. Tolerant Organic Green Lentil & Beet Pasta, Penne

3 oz dry: 315 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 61 g carbs (2.5 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 14 g protein

Made of a blend of green lentil and beet flours, this penne contains one of the highest per-serving amounts of protein we’ve seen, 14 grams. Pile sautéed vegetables on top and you might hit a full day’s veggie requirement in one sitting.

4. Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Pasta, Angel Hair

2 oz dry: 210 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (5 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

This delicious whole-wheat pasta provides 5 grams of belly-filling fiber.

5. Explore Cuisine Organic Green Lentil Lasagne

2 oz dry: 190 calories, 1 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (3 g fiber, <1 g sugar), 11 g protein

Don’t expect the egginess of handmade noodles, but these no-boil pasta sheets make quick work of a dish that usually requires patience and great dexterity.

Chips & Pretzels

Chips and pretzels eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Good Health Organic Black Bean & Rice Tortillas

9 chips: 130 calories, 7 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (2 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 2 g protein

Sneak a bag of these into your favorite Mexican restaurant. Some fried tortilla chips at restaurants pack 400 calories and 36 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated fat.

2. Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers, Sea Salt

32 crackers: 130 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 90 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

These light, flavorful crackers get their protein boost from garbanzo bean flour and brown rice protein.

3. Rebellion Protein Crisps Hot Buffalo

24 chips: 80 calories, 2.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 280 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (4 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 10 g protein

The 10 grams of protein in these popped snacks will satisfy your hunger even before you get through a 24-chip serving. But if you eat them all, don’t fret: At just 80, the calorie hit is low.

4. Good Health Gluten Free Pretzels, Sea Salt

about 4 pretzels: 100 calories, 3 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 350 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 1 g protein

These gluten-free pretzels made of brown rice and whole grain sorghum flour taste as good as any traditional pretzel, plus they have a blend of powdered spinach, broccoli, carrot, tomato, beet, and mushroom baked in.

5. Snikkidy Organic Grilled Cheese Baked Puffs

1 cup: 140 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 240 mg sodium, 15 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 3 g protein

They look like tater tots but taste like a grilled cheddar cheese sandwich. Made with organic ingredients and without hydrogenated oils.

Cookies

Cookies eat this not that food awards Dan Engongoro/Eat This, Not That!

1. Munk Pack Protein Cookie, Coconut White Chocolate Macadamia

1 cookie: 360 calories, 20 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 32 g carbs (6 g fiber, 18 g sugar), 18 g protein

We applaud the protein (18 g) and fiber (6 g) the makers have crammed into these treats, but be wary that the serving size is only half a cookie.

2. Chips Ahoy! Chunky

1 cookie: 80 calories, 4 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 10 g carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), <1 g protein

If you can stick to the 1-piece serving, you’ll enjoy a real chocolate chip cookie treat for just 80 calories, 4 grams of fat, and a surprisingly minimal amount of sugar.

3. Simple Mills Naturally Gluten-Free Toasted Pecan Crunchy Cookies

3 cookies: 120 calories, 7 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 110 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (<1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 1 g protein

It’s great to find a satisfying cookie containing just 4 grams of sugars per serving. And you get to eat three!

4. Mrs. Thinster’s Cookie Thins—Coconut Chip

5 cookies: 150 calories, 10 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 65 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (1 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 1 g protein

These cookies are dangerously delicious. Don’t let their thinness fool you. Five cookies contain 11 grams of sugar. So don’t eat more than a serving.

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