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The Ultimate Guide to Healthy Food Shopping

As a dietitian, know that grocery shopping can be daunting and stressful for many. As an example, most of my patients do not know where to start when they go to the supermarket and aren’t certain of what they should add to their carts.

In addition, with the seemingly endless options of food readily available, many of them disguised in misleading packaging, it’s difficult to discern which items are healthy and which are best to be left out in the store.

In this article I’ll explain the fundamentals of healthy grocery shopping including how to select healthy food items, make a sensible shopping list, and then stock up to and shop less frequently.

Before you go

Although some shoppers are able to shop for groceries without a plan or an idea of what meals they’ll make during the next week, the majority of people require an outline.

Bringing along a list of your grocery needs or a menu for the week is a great idea in case you are easily lost at the grocery store or aren’t sure how to begin.

Making a balanced shopping list

A list of grocery items is a must-have tool for shoppers. It will assist you with your shopping and keep track of the items you’ll need. Furthermore, studies have shown that lists of grocery items can assist you in making better decisions when grocery shopping ( 1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

What exactly does a “healthy” grocery list consist of?

A healthy, balanced diet should consist of whole nutrient-rich food items. This includes items like vegetables and fruits, protein sources such as eggs and fish and beans, nuts and seeds. These are the foods you should put first when you’re making your lists.

When making the shopping lists, it might be beneficial to break it down into segments that include non-starchy and starchy fruits, vegetables grains and beans as well as seeds and nuts, frozen food items, proteins dairy and dairy substitutes drinks and condiments, as well as miscellaneous things.

Here’s an example of an ideal grocery list would comprise:

  • Foods: Blueberries, apple grapefruits, clementines, and avocados
  • Nonstarchy veggies: broccoli, asparagus, onions, spinach, peppers, and zucchini
  • starchy vegetables: sweet potatoes, baby red potatoes, as well as butternut squash
  • Grain and beans: Black beans, chickpeas (including brown rice), black beans, and Quinoa
  • Proteins include: eggs, canning salmon, skin-on chicken breasts as well as the pea protein powder
  • Foods that are frozen: frozen mixed berries and frozen Kale
  • Peanuts and Seeds: roasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, and peanuts in natural butter
  • Dairy and dairy-free substitutes: cashew milk, coconut milk, feta cheese along with full fat Greek yogurt
  • The ingredients include tomato sauce, olives and sun-dried tomatoes pesto, olive oil, and salsa
  • Water: unsweetened coconut water and sparkling water
  • Other: ground coffee, dried fruit, dark chocolate banana plantain chips, as well as unsweetened coconut that has been shredded

You don’t need to buy products that are shelf-stable, such as peanut butter protein powder, peanut butter, or bulk grains on every trip to the store. I will show you how to fill your kitchen with durable items further in this article.

For more in-depth ideas for healthy shopping lists look at the following article.

The idea of a weekly menu

If you’d prefer to bring your weekly menu to the shop instead of your regular shopping list. The menu will list the ingredients you’ll need to prepare the meals you’d like to prepare for the week ahead.

For instance, if you’re a lover of food preparation, you might want to print off the meals you’re going to cook. You can then shop off of the lists of ingredients.

Remember that if you’re used to dining out, or eating food in for your meals, trying to prepare every meal or snack from home may not be feasible. If you’re brand new to meal prep take it slow and start by making it a point to cook only a handful of meals during the first week.

Once you’ve established a routine it is possible to add additional dishes to your daily cooking menu. Like any healthy habit, it will be a while before buying groceries, and making healthier meals from home is an everyday routine.

Visit the article to learn more about cooking meals.

How do you equip your kitchen as if you were the pros

If you’re not a big person who makes frequent grocery store trips, making sure your kitchen is filled with food items that are nonperishable or frozen is essential. This will allow you to prepare healthy meals and snacks when you’re short of fresh ingredients.

It’s essential to examine your pantry, cabinets as well as fridge, and freezer to see the items you require prior to going for a grocery trip. This can help cut down on food waste, and also ensure that you have the items required to cook healthy food ( 3Trusted Source).

It is necessary to buy products that are fresh, such as fresh vegetables, fruits dairy products, as well as other perishable items more frequently. In contrast, nonperishable items, as well as foods that are frozen, can be bought less frequently.

Here are some ideas for durable staples that you can keep in your pantry or in your freezer:


  • Nuts, seeds, and nut buttery cashews, almonds, pistachios, and almond butter made from natural sources
    • Be aware that certain varieties of nut butter made from natural ingredients need to be chilled after opening. Nuts and flours derived from nuts should be stored in the freezer over the long term in order to keep them fresh.
  • Oils coconut oil and olive oil avocado oil
  • Grains Quinoa, brown rice, oats, buckwheat along with brown rice pasta
  • Unsweetened dried fruits: dried mango, dates, raisins, and dried cherries
  • Spices include Garlic powder curry powder, turmeric, cumin, paprika, cinnamon
  • dried and canned beans: black beans, chickpeas, and lentils
  • Canned salmon and tuna: Wild Planet canned salmon and tuna
  • Sweeteners and baking goods:  baking soda, baking powder maple syrup, honey, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, and flour blends
    • To keep it in storage for the long term, store your flour stored in the freezer.
  • Shelf-stable milk alternatives: coconut milk, Oat milk, and Elmhurst cashew milk
  • Sauces and dressings as well as condiments: unsweetened marinara sauce Primal Kitchen salad dressing, mayo olives, sun-dried tomato, apple cider vinegar balsamic vinegar, hot sauce
  • Snack food items: banana plantain chips Trail mix chips, tortilla chips, and almonds coated in chocolate
  • Long-lasting food items: sweet potatoes, onions, potatoes butternut squash, garlic
  • Other Unsweetened dried coconut dark chocolate chips the pea protein, coffee vegetable, chicken broths, and coconut water


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