Can Your Refrigerator Make You Healthier?

Can Your Refrigerator Make You Healthier?
January 30, 2017 SNH Editorial Team
healthy refrigerator

Image courtesy of Liebherr

Lately there has been a lot of buzz around the smart fridge. Samsung has jumped out as a leader. Their smart refrigerators are equipped with information panels and cameras. This technology is designed to allow easy visibility inside the refrigerator, while providing a central hub for family interactions. But is this really what you want from your refrigerator?

As technology improves and prices come down perhaps consumers will gravitate towards a smart refrigerator, but are there more fundamental features within your refrigerator that could lead to a healthier lifestyle?

Liebherr, a Swiss refrigeration company, is moving the industry by looking at food spoilage and healthy refrigeration. They call their system “BioFresh.” The system is designed to enhance the freshness of foods. Studies have shown that the fresher we keep our food, the more likely it is to maintain a higher  nutritional value.  Liebherr does this with a system that takes on humidity and creates “HydroSafe” and “DrySafe” environments that are customized for certain foods. These systems lead foods to stay fresher, longer.

Technology and refrigeration innovations are certainly helping us lead healthier lifestyles, but visually organizing where your food is located in the refrigerator is just as important. You are hungry, you open the door to your refrigerator, you what you see is what appeals to you. You pick up the first thing that you see. Is it a healthy option? Good for you? If you are like many, it might not be so.

What would happen if we organized the fridge in a manner that healthy items are at eye level. With this in mind we have to ask, why do so many refrigerators have vegetable drawers on the bottom? Veggies visually disappear into these drawers, and less healthy options like cans of soda and high fat snack items end up at eye level on the upper shelves.

Let’s look at a different approach. Consider placing staples like onions, soda cans, less-healthy food bits and even batteries (yes, these do last longer if you keep them chill) in the lower drawers of your refrigerator and fruit, vegetables and healthier snack items at eye-level up on the shelves.  Why not reorganize the layout of the refrigerator for a healthier lifestyle.

For those wanting to get a jump start with the refrigerator they currently have, good organization can help you eat healthier and keep fresh foods close at hand. Here are a few tips to keep our refrigerators clear of clutter and displaying healthy food for you and your family.

Healthy Design Tips

Image courtesy of Whirlpool

Avoid opaque plastic bins and shelves, these may give the sense that they are “hiding the clutter”, but what they are really doing is giving you a scenario of “out of sight, out of mind” and that’s where rotten food tends to lurk. Gravitate towards glass shelves and clear plastic bins so that you can easily see, and ultimately use, everything that you have.

Lighting is also critical.  Good lighting will help illuminate the back corners of your fridge and make finding things easier.  With the advent of LED lighting in appliances, manufacturers are packing more light, not less and they are illuminating parts of the refrigerator that have remained dark hiding spots for years. Go for the refrigerator that includes strip lighting up and down the entire inside and even shines light into those dark bins below the bottom shelf.

Finally, we’d recommend a refrigerator unit that has the freezer on the bottom and standard cold storage on top. It ensures that the items you access more on a regular basis are at eye level, and those veggie and fruit storage bins at the bottom? Those are more at waist height and easier to access – which will likely lead to more fruits and veggies for snack time.

Containers and Bowls

Image courtesy of The Container Store

One of the biggest pains in keeping your refrigerator organized is, well is keeping it organized. Over time random items get separated – jars and cans of food are pushed to the back and “inventory control” goes down the tube. This leads to buying things you really don’t need, and failing to use foods before they expire.

Separate bins and containers are great for keeping like foods together.  For instance a bin for all your cheese, maybe another to hold your soda cans in order, maybe another for condiments like mayo, mustard, jams and more. This can be both a timesaver (no more hunting for lost items) and a way to take a quick inventory of what you need before venturing to the store.

We hope these tips inspire you to rethink your refrigerator toward leading a healthier and more organized life. Let us know how you keep your refrigerator organized in the comments below.