Healthy Foods For Grocery List

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Are you trying to find out healthy foods for  grocery list that are healthy? Good thing you’re here! I have the perfect list for you. Here are some of the best healthy foods that are worth putting on your grocery list.

If you’re trying to eat healthier, one of the first things you might want to do is make a grocery list! A simple grocery list helps us to remember what we need to buy at the grocery store. With 4 kids and little time, I surely could use all the help I can get. So, I created this healthy foods for grocery list as a free printable so you can use it too! (A full grocery list almost ruined my shopping trips with these kiddos. But not this time!).

Healthy Foods For Grocery List

Having a well-planned grocery list gets you in and out of the store quickly and helps you stick to your healthy eating plan.Use these tips and in just a few minutes, you’ll have a blueprint for a cart full of groceries that won’t bust your budget or diet.Organize your grocery shopping list by aisle. Follow these tips for filling that list with the healthiest foods from each aisle.

1. Bakery and Bread

On Your List:

  • Whole wheat bread, pita pockets, and English muffins
  • Whole-grain flour tortillas

Look for the words “whole wheat” or “whole wheat flour” as the first ingredient on the label.

Choose whole-grain breads that contain at least 3 to 4 grams of fiber and have fewer than 100 calories per slice.

2. Meat and Seafood

On Your List:

  • Skinless chicken or turkey breasts
  • Ground turkey or chicken
  • Salmon, halibut, trout, mackerel, or your favorite seafood
  • Reduced-sodium lunchmeat (turkey, roast beef)

If you buy red meat, choose the leanest cuts — ones with very little marbling.

Eat ground chicken or ground turkey breast instead of ground beef. These are much lower in fat. Get creative with the condiments and you’ll get flavor without the fat.

3. Pasta and Rice

On Your List:

  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat or whole-grain pasta

Again, favor whole grains whenever possible.

4. Oils, Sauces, Salad Dressings, and Condiments

On Your List:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Red-wine vinegar
  • Salsa
  • Extra virgin olive oil, canola oil, nonfat cooking spray
  • Jarred capers and olives
  • Hot pepper sauce

Many sauces and condiments are surprisingly high in sodium and sugar. Look for sugar-free varieties. Keep track of sodium levels, especially if you’re cutting back on salt.

Replace mayonnaise and other high-fat condiments with options like salsa and hot sauce, or choose light mayonnaise.

5. Cereals and Breakfast Foods

On Your List:

  • Whole-grain or multigrain cereals
  • Steel-cut or instant oatmeal
  • Whole-grain cereal bars

Buy cereals and cereal bars that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Use berries, dried fruit, or nuts to add sweetness to your cereal.

6. Soups and Canned Goods

On Your List:

  • Diced or whole peeled tomatoes
  • Tuna or salmon packed in water
  • Low-sodium soups and broths
  • Black, kidney, soy, or garbanzo beans; lentils, split peas
  • Diced green chilies

Check the label to see how much sodium is in canned vegetables and soups. Look for lower-sodium varieties.

When buying canned fruits, choose brands that are packed in juice rather than syrup.

7. Frozen Foods

On Your List:

  • Frozen vegetables: broccoli, spinach, peas, and carrots (no sauce)
  • Frozen fruit: strawberries, raspberries, blueberries (without added sugar)
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Pre-portioned, low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
  • Whole-grain waffles
  • Whole-grain vegetable pizza

Buy frozen vegetables to throw into soups, casseroles, and stews.

Low-fat frozen yogurt blended with frozen fruit makes a quick, healthy smoothie.

8. Dairy, Cheese, and Eggs

On Your List:

  • Skim or low-fat milk or soymilk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese
  • Low-fat cheese or string cheese snacks
  • Eggs or egg substitutes
  • Firm tofu
  • Butter or spread (a variety that doesn’t contain hydrogenated oils)
If you like whole-fat cheeses and butter, you don’t have to deprive yourself. Just use smaller portions.Buy strong-flavored cheeses like Parmesan or goat cheese, so that you can use a smaller amount without sacrificing taste.Don’t buy pre-sweetened or flavored yogurts, which can be very high in sugar and calories. Instead, buy plain yogurt and add your own flavor with a tablespoon of fresh fruit or jam.

9. Snacks and Crackers

On Your List:

  • Whole-grain crackers
  • Dried fruit: apricots, figs, prunes, raisins, cranberries
  • Nuts: almonds, cashews, walnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios (roasted and unsalted)
  • Seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, whole or ground flaxseeds
  • Peanut butter, almond, or soy butter
  • Hummus
  • Dark chocolate pieces (containing more than 70% cocoa)

10. Produce

On Your List:

  • Fruit: bananas, apples, oranges, mangoes, strawberries, blueberries
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, baby spinach, broccoli, carrot sticks

Look for a large variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. They have the most nutrients.

Buy fruits and vegetables that are in season and locally grown. They taste better and cost less.

Precut fruits and vegetables save you prep time.

11. Drinks

On Your List:

  • Unsweetened green and flavored teas
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Sparkling water

If you buy juice, make sure it’s 100% fruit juice and not a “juice drink,” or “-ade.”

An easy at-home recipe is to add fruit juice to sparkling water.

The Ultimate Healthy Grocery List

Veggies
Fruits
Dairy, eggs, & fermented foods
Meat & proteins
Legumes & grains
Freezer staples
Pantry staples
Drinks
Snacks
Tips

Adobe Stock
We can all agree: A trip to the grocery store can be an exercise in serious wastefulness if you don’t go in with a solid list.

Sticking to mostly whole, nutrient-dense foods and limiting processed foods as much as possible is the best approach for optimal health, says Jillian Kubala, a registered dietitian and Healthline contributor.

She’s created the ultimate grocery list. Ready to start shopping your store like a pro? Don’t worry, if you like something that isn’t included, just add it in!

Vegetables
spinach
arugula
kale
broccoli
cauliflower
bell peppers
brussels sprouts
zucchini
carrots
asparagus
cabbage
cucumbers
celery
onions
garlic
fresh herbs like basil and parsley
potatoes and sweet potatoes
beets
butternut squash

Fruits
avocados (choose at different stages of ripeness)
fresh blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, or raspberries (buy frozen to save $)
apples
oranges, lemons, limes, and grapefruit
pomegranate
grapes (green or red)
bananas
pineapple
cherries
mango, papaya, and star fruit

Dairy products, nondairy products, eggs, and fermented foods
eggs (preferably pasture-raised)
pasture butter
grass-fed full fat or 2 percent yogurt or coconut yogurt
dairy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk (unsweetened, nondairy milks that contain limited ingredients)
full fat cheeses such as goat cheese, cheddar, and feta
sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir

Meat, fish, and vegetarian proteins
whole chicken or skin-on chicken breasts (Use all of it to make soup!)
canned wild-caught salmon (Tip: Almost all canned salmon is wild-caught!)
fresh fish fillets such as flounder or cod
shellfish such as shrimp or crab
ground turkey or grass-fed beef or pork
vegetarian protein sources such as extra-firm tofu or tempeh
Legumes and grain products
canned beans such as garbanzo beans, black beans, or kidney beans
canned or dried lentils
grains such as quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, teff, farro, buckwheat, barley, and millet (Find them in individual packages or in the bulk food section of some grocery stores.)
rolled or steel-cut oats (Stay away from sugary instant oatmeal — instead choose plain rolled or steel-cut oats and add your own toppings.)
corn tortillas made with minimal ingredients

Freezer staples
Veggies and fruits
frozen greens like spinach and kale
frozen chopped veggies like broccoli and cauliflower
edamame
frozen fruits like berries, cherries, cubed mango, and pomegranate seeds
Bread and flour
Ezekiel bread
almond flour
coconut flour
wheat germ
whole wheat flour
Proteins
frozen skin-on chicken breast
frozen ground turkey
frozen wild-caught fish and shellfish

Pantry staples
Fats and oils
The following are healthy, minimally processed fats that promote health in various ways:

olive oil
avocado oil
ghee or grass-fed butter
coconut oil
tahini
unsweetened coconut flakes and coconut butter
Nuts and nut butters
almonds
pumpkin seeds
natural peanut butter (only ingredients should be peanuts and salt)
almond butter
sunflower seeds
chia seeds
walnuts
pistachios
hemp seeds (These tiny seeds are packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats. They make an excellent addition to smoothies, yogurt, and oatmeal.)
ground flaxseed
Condiments
apple cider vinegar
balsamic vinegar
honey
hot sauce
pure maple syrup
tamari, soy sauce, or coconut aminos
nutritional yeast
salsa
mustard
vanilla extract
salt and pepper
Spices
turmeric
ginger
cinnamon
sage
red pepper flakes
garlic powder
nutmeg
saffron
paprika
curry powder
chili powder
Canned goods
canned full fat coconut milk
sardines
crushed tomatoes
pumpkin purée
no-sugar-added marinara sauce
Miscellaneous
chicken broth
baking powder
baking soda
cacao and cacao nibs
sun-dried tomatoes
Beverages
tea bags (green and black are great)
herbal teas such as peppermint, hibiscus, and ginger
sparkling water
coffee
Snack foods
dark chocolate
unsweetened dried fruits like raisins, figs, mango, or apple rings
grass-fed, nitrite- and sugar-free meat or turkey sticks or jerky
pickles
olives
Tips for shopping at the grocery store
Shop whole foods
The grocery list above contains whole foods, but that doesn’t mean you have to shop at the pricey store by that name. It just means foods that are sold almost exactly as they came from the plant or animal.

You may notice that this list includes high fat foods such as skin-on chicken, avocados, nut butters, and full fat yogurt rather than low fat products.

According to Kubala, these nutritious foods with their natural fats may deliver impressive health benefits like improving heart health (yes, you read that right), reducing blood sugar, and even improving brain function over time.

Shop wild and free
Whenever possible, choose pasture-raised, organic eggs, meat, and poultry as well as wild-caught fish.

Pasture-raised eggs, for example, have higher levels of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins A and E than eggs from conventionally raised hens.

Pasture-raised dairy products also have higher levels of omega-3 fats and antioxidants, including beta carotene and lutein, compared to dairy from cattle fed conventional grain-based diets.

Also, spend the extra cash on organic produce when you can, especially for berries, grapes, apples, and greens — a 2020 analysis by the Environmental Working Group found that these fruits and veggies have the most pesticide residues.

Shop the perimeter
Start in the produce aisle and work your way around the perimeter of the grocery store before heading to the inner aisles.

This can help ensure that you fill your cart with a nice array of brightly colored vegetables and fruits (instead of brightly colored boxes, bags, and bottles).

Monthly Grocery Shopping List

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Oats Shutterstock

Not only are oats a delicious way to start your morning, but they’re also packed with fiber, helpful for your gut and heart health, and they’ll keep you feeling fuller, longer. Whether you’re looking for sweet or savory recipes (that’s right—get your savory oats recipes here!), there are endless ways to prepare oats. (Graham also recommends using them for a healthy crumble topping in your summer desserts!)

2
Avocados Shutterstock

Let’s talk about avocados. There’s a lot of fat in these green fruits, which can often leave people wondering if they’re really a healthy choice. “Avocados provide healthy monounsaturated fats that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels,” says Graham—and it’s these healthy fats that make avocados the ideal weight loss food. So, if you’re ready to start making some guacamole, here’s our favorite healthy recipe. (It’s easy!)

3
Pomegranates Shutterstock

You might often overlook this gem in the fruit aisle, but after you read up on how to cut a pomegranate, they’re totally worth a try. Graham says the seeds—also known as arils—are “red jewels [that] are bursting with Vitamin C and antioxidants that help fight cancer and keep your skin healthy.” They’re also one fruit that’s key in helping with muscle health—making you look and feel stronger. Add them into a smoothie, salad, or on top of some yogurt and granola, and you’ll feel their magic.

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Lean Protein Shutterstock

Avena has an intriguing recommendation to get the most out of the meat aisle… it’s a grocery choice she refers to as “meat with benefits.” She explains: “A great way to get more plants while you still are enjoying your meat is to opt for something like Grateful Market,” she says. “They make burgers, sliders, and meatballs that are made of a blend of red meat or chicken and garden vegetables such as garlic, kale, celery, carrots and red onion.” Your local grocer may also have house-made patties with similarly beneficial ingredients.

Plus, adds Graham, lean protein is essential to “helping slow down the absorption of carbohydrates into your system at the meal without overloading you with saturated fats.” Incredibly important, especially when you read why experts say saturated fat is more toxic to your body than cholesterol.

5
Chilean Farmed Salmon

Another great way to get your protein is through fish, specifically Chilean farmed salmon. “People often shy away from fish because they are concerned about mercury and contaminants,” Avena says, “but don’t be scared off.” She specifies that Chilean farmed salmon is a great way to make sure that you are getting omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for brain health. Also, it contains Vitamins B and D, which are important for our immune and nervous systems. We’ve made salmon simple—and versatile—in these 21+ Best Healthy Salmon Recipes for Weight Loss.

6
Eggs

Definitely a grocery item that you should always have stocked in your kitchen, eggs are probably one of the easiest ways to up your protein intake. Whether you like scrambled eggs, a frittata loaded with vegetables, or a breakfast burrito, there’s bound to be the perfect egg recipe to start your day (or to work in anytime, for that matter).

Not only are eggs a great source of protein, they also provide you with lutein. “Lutein is similar to Vitamin A (found in carrots), and egg yolks are one of the best sources,” says Graham. It’s the lutein that helps to keep your eyes healthy.

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Legumes

Canned veggies might seem tricky. While some are packed with sodium and can be unhealthy, others can be full of nutrients and the perfect pantry go-to for a simple meal. Canned beans, lentils, and chickpeas, in particular, can add so much to your diet, Graham says: “[These legumes] are a rich source of vegetable protein and they also have lots of fiber.”

For a summer-friendly way to get more legumes, try making this black-eyed pea and corn salsa.

8
Potatoes

For better or for worse, even the fast-food giants know that nothing triggers excitement quite like a potato side. We have some healthier and creative ways to use potatoes, which according to Graham, are a great source of Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They’re also the perfect complement to so many dinnertime classics, especially those chicken or salmon dishes that work so nicely on the summer grill.

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Healthy Snacks

Just because we’re making a healthy grocery list here doesn’t mean we have to steer clear of the snack aisle. “I advise that people grab a bag of healthy snacks when they are grocery shopping, so you have options when you get a craving for chips,” says Avena. You read that right—there are lots of healthy snack options that you can go for instead of that bag of chips. Avena advises, “PopCorners are a great choice for healthy snacking because they are air-popped popcorn in the shape of a chip made with simple ingredients and never fried.” This means you don’t have to feel guilty snacking on a few of these throughout the day to hold you over between meals.

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Protein Powder Shutterstock

There are many people who don’t get enough protein in their diets, so a great way to supplement your protein intake through your diet is with protein powder. According to Avena, a lack of protein in your diet can lead to a weakened immune system and muscle loss, so it’s über-important to stay after your protein consumption. (Also check out how much protein you need to lose weight, or to build muscle.)

Not sure where to get enough? Avena recommends Orgain Organic Protein and Superfoods. “It’s packed with 21 grams of protein, plus super nutrition from 50 organic superfoods that includes organic greens, berries, ancient grains and sprouts in every serving.” Talk about a one-stop shop for loads of nutrition needs! “It’s also certified USDA organic and made without any of the major allergens and has no added sugar,” Avena says. A truly quality protein powder is an easy add to your morning smoothie for an extra protein boost to get your day started.

11
California Raisins

There’s no question that raisins are an underrated grocery item that make the perfect snack, salad topper, or a nutritious addition to lots of recipes. “They are full of essential nutrients with seven percent [daily value] of fiber and six percent [daily value] of potassium,” says Avena. Plus, raisins are 100% natural—which means no added sugars or juices. Avena says all you need is one-quarter cup of raisins to get one fruit serving, so they’re the perfect easy snack to have on hand.

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Freeze-Dried Fruit

We’re staying on the healthy snack train with freeze-dried fruit. Similar to the California Raisins, Crispy Green fruit snacks are a great option when you don’t have fresh fruit on hand. “They have no added sugar and are 100% freeze-dried fruit,” according to Avena, which is exactly what we want to hear. This is an easy snack to add to a kiddo’s school or camp lunch, keep in the car for a busy day on-the-go, or to add to an evening cheese board both for great color and a nice, tart counter-balance to creamy cheese.

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Variety of Cheese

Oh, and speaking cheese, we can’t forget our calcium. It’s crucial to maintaining bone and tooth strength (or building it, when you’re young). Cheese is a great source of calcium, and with so many types there are endless possibilities to go for. Graham recommends going for a fermented cheese like Gouda, cheddar or Swiss because they’re a great source of probiotic bacteria as well. (How ’bout that!) If you’re not sure if your favorite cheese is a healthy choice, check out 20 Best and Worst Cheeses in America, and Avena’s own homemade recipe for healthy macaroni & cheese.

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Mixed Nuts

To go right along with the cheese and dried fruits, put those mixed nuts in your grocery cart. Avena points out that it’s important to keep nut portions relatively small because these treats can be dense in calories. However, she adds, “Nuts are a vegetable protein that are rich in magnesium and zinc.” Between the cheese, raisins and mixed nuts, we see an epic charcuterie board in your future. Read up on the nut that’s great for diabetics, while almonds have one major effect on metabolism you probably weren’t aware of.

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