Healthy Shopping List

How many times have you hurried into the grocery store after work, tired, without a healthy shopping list and no idea of what you’re going to cook for dinner – much less for the rest of the week – and took more time and spent more money than you planned?

When you decide to meal prep, that type of grocery shopping will become a thing of the past. If making meals for a week or month ahead seems intimidating, then shopping for the items may seem impossibly overwhelming.

But, there are ways to make grocery shopping for meal prep a very manageable, and even enjoyable, event. Having the right staples on hand makes meal prepping much more streamlined.

When you have items such as oatmeal, flour, eggs, rice and a variety of spices in your refrigerator and pantry, you have the basics to prepare almost any meal. Add frozen chicken and vegetables to the mix and you’re way ahead of the game.

Healthy Shopping ListBefore you grocery shop for meal prep, decide on the meals you’re going to serve and jot down the ingredients you’ll need. In the beginning, you may be concentrating on a few meals per week – or certain meals of the day.

This simple beginning will be good experience to prepare you for even more meal prepping and you’ll find it gets easier as you go along. Meal prepping can help you eliminate multiple trips to the grocery and keep you from having to decide which fast food is for dinner when you don’t have time to prepare a meal.

Organize your healthy shopping list by aisles if you can. There are many online templates for groceries that you may want to use and are divided by produce, meats, baked items and more.

Consider the elements of a healthy diet – meat, veggies, fruit and dairy and make sure your meal prep plan includes them all. If you have leftovers after shopping and preparing the plan ahead meals, use them for the next round of meal prepping so there’s less waste – or for snacks if there are leftovers such as veggies and fruit.

Set up your refrigerator and pantry so unloading and storing the groceries will be an easy and time-saving task. If everything has a place, it will be much easier to unpack groceries next time.

Make your grocery shopping a fun task by trying new recipes for plan ahead meals and new spices and foods you may have never tried before. You won’t like them all, but it’s fun to try new things.

To further ease your grocery shopping experience, print out our healthy shopping list below and use it to organize your grocery shopping before you ever step foot in the store.

Shopping List

Healthy meal planning begins with shopping for the right foods. Here is a healthy foods shopping list and some important considerations to benefit your body and mind.

Fruits

Not all fruits are created equally, some are higher in sugar than others and so can cause concern for those wanting to lose weight and can cause spikes in blood sugar levels.

Lowest in Sugar
All Berries
Lemons
Limes
Rhubarb
Cranberries
Low to Medium in Sugar
Watermelon
Apricots
Grapefruit
Peaches
Blueberries
Apples
Guavas
Melons
Papaya
Nectarines
Medium-High Sugar Content
Plums
Kiwi
Pears
Pineapple
Oranges
Highest Sugar Content
Cherries
Grapes
Pomegranates
Figs
Bananas
Mangoes
Tangerines

Vegetables

All green vegetables are safe to eat in abundance, color vegetables, such as, corn and carrots contain more starch and sugars and so have more impact on blood sugars and are higher in calories.

Artichoke
Asparagus
Broccoli
Bell Pepper
Cabbage
Cucumbers
Brussel Sprouts
Avocado
Turnips
Tomatoes
Spinach
Lettuce
Kale
Onions
Greens
Mushrooms
Carrots
Corn
Beets
Mustard greens
Collard Greens
Turnip greens
Swiss Chard
Watercress

Protein

Animal Protein
Any type of fish (very low in calories and fat, grill, broil or poach).
Salmon is one of the best as it is high in essential omega-3 fatty acids.
Eggs (American Heart Association states healthy adults can safely eat one egg per day).
Egg Whites (cholesterol free, highly, filling and super healthy)
Chicken (breasts have the least amount of fat, remove the skin to significantly lower saturated fat)
Turkey
Extra Lean Beef (Lean beef has just 1 gram more of saturated fat than a skinless chicken breast, and is a great source of, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12).
Lean Pork
Soy Protein
Canned Tuna
Deli Meats: Turkey and Chicken Breast
Vegan Proteins
Tofu
Legumes (see list below)
Dairy and Dairy Proteins
Non-fat, 1% or 2% Milk
Organic Milk
Soy Milk
Almond Milk
Rice Milk
Low Fat and Non Fat Yogurt (Greek is great, for low sugar/carb options choose plain varieties)
Low Fat or Non Fat Cottage Cheese
Skim Milk Chesses
Low Fat Cream Cheese (low carb diets can get full fat)

Legumes

Legumes are a class of vegetables and include various peas, beans and lentils. They are very nutritious, and are high in protein, potassium, iron, magnesium and folate, and are low in fat and cholesterol. Additionally they contain good fats and lots of fiber. Since they are rich in protein and lower in fat and cholesterol than meat, they make a great animal protein substitute.

Adzuki beans
Anasazi beans
Black beans
Black-eyed peas
Chickpeas
Edamame
Fava beans
Lentils
Lima beans
Kidney beans
Red kidney beans
Soy nuts

Seeds

Sunflower Seeds
Chia Seeds
Fenugreek
Black Seeds
Flax Seeds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sesame Seeds

Grains

Whole grains, which, usually come in brown tones, have higher fiber counts than their white counterparts, and so they make less of an impact on blood sugar levels. They are a great source of complex carbohydrates and provide key vitamins and minerals for the human body. They are naturally low in fat, and research has shown they lower the risk of diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and other conditions.
Whole Wheat/Whole Grain/Whole Barley Bread Products

Whole grain crackers
Soy Bread
Brown Rice
Brown/Whole Wheat Couscous
Whole Wheat/Grain Pasta (Using whole wheat versus the refined version increases fiber by 5 grams per serving.)
Whole Wheat Flour
Bulgur
Quinoa
Natural Oats
Unflavored Oatmeal
Whole Grain Barley (studies show it cuts cholesterol by almost 10%)
Buckwheat (great for pancakes)

Cereals

Steel cut oats
Rolled oats
Barley
Buckwheat
Granola
Grape Nuts
Cheerios
Kashi Instant Hot Cereal
Shredded Wheat

Cooking Oils

Canola Oil
Grape Seed Oil
Virgin Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Avocado Oil
Sunflower Oil
Walnut Oil
Peanut Oil
Vegetable Oil

Dressings/Sauces and Spreads

Olive Oil or Canola Mayonnaise
Fat Free Dressings (Ranch, 1000 Island, Blue Cheese)
Non Fat Yogurt (use as a substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream in dips and recipes to greatly reduce fat and calories from fat.
Fat Free Sour Cream
Cream Cheese (low fat and non-fat options exist)
Healthy Oils (Olive, Canola, Flaxseed, Grapeseed)
Vinegar
Mustard (brown, yellow, Dijon, all good, low in calories with no fat)
Pickle Relish (watch the sugar in the sweet varieties)
Low Sodium Soy Sauce
Avocado (healthy spreadable veggie)
Fresh Salsa (one of the best ways to add flavor to many dishes, make your own with fresh chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, peppers, make it as hot or as mild as you want)
Ricotta Cheese
Peanut Butter
Hummus
Tahini
Almond Butter
Marinara Sauce (see food labels for sodium and sugar counts, homemade is better to control the ingredients)
Sugar Free and/or Organic Ketchup (they do exist and are much healthier than regular varieties that are loaded with sugar and preservatives)
Siraracha (this US brand Asian hot sauce has a lot of flavor and can be used on a variety of foods)
Pesto (sauce made form basil and garlic)
Hoisin Sauce (Typically used in Asian cooking for Peking Duck and other dishes, not a great option for those watching their sugar intake)
Fish Sauce ( used as a condiment, in soups, stews, and as a marinade, has 0 fat, and almost no sugar)
Ponzu Sauce (Another Japanese favorite, great as a sauce and as a marinade)

Spices And Herbs

Spices and herbs can add a great amount of flavor to all types of dishes, and having great flavor makes for a satisfying meal.

Turmeric
Ginger
Cayenne Pepper
Coriander
Black Pepper
Mint
Basil
Garlic
Onion Powder
Cilantro
Bay Leaf
Dry Mustard
Cream of Tartar
Celery leaf
Celery seed
Chicory
Chili pepper
Chives
Clove Coriander seed
Dill
Fennel
Juniper berry
Lemongrass
Licorice
Oregano
Paprika
Parsley
Peppermint
Rosemary
Saffron
Sage
Sesame
Star anise
Tarragon
Thyme
Vanilla
Wasabi

Flavors

Butter Buds (Sprinkle on butter flavor, great for low fat eating, found in the spice section)
Brown Sugar
Ceylon Cinnamon
Kosher Salt
Apple Cider Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Fresh Garlic
Onion Powder
Hot Sauce
Chicken or Beef Boullion Cubes
Lemons (juiced for flavor in marinades, sauces, salads)
Limes (juiced for flavor in marinades, sauces, salads)

Sweeteners

Here are some alternatives to processed sugar.

Splenda
Nutri Sweet
Sugar Twin
Stevia

Healthy Snacks

Berries
Melon
Apples
Walnuts
Almonds
Pistachios
Peanuts
Peanut Butter
Almond Butter
Dark Chocolate
Grapes (buy fresh and freeze at home for a super cool snack)
Any fruit (best eaten fresh, when juiced, turned into a smoothie or dried it doubles it’s sugar impact because it lowers the fiber content significantly)
Any vegetables (tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery etc)
String Cheese
Nutrition Bars (Atkins is highly recommended for low carb no sugar snack bars that taste great, includes, Brownies, M&M replicas, Coconut bars and many more)
Sugar-free or fat-free pudding
Jello (sugar free for low carb option)
Nonfat Greek Yogurt
100 calorie snack bags (look to the cookie aisle)
Non or low fat cream cheese
Applesauce
Raw vegetables with Hummus as a dip
Non-fat Ranch (great for dipping veggies)
Sunflower Seeds
Rice Cakes
Air-Popped Popcorn
Olives
Pickles (not for low sodium diet)
Berries with Fat Free Cool Whip
Peanut Butter can be smeared on apple slices, banana and celery sticks (sugar free all natural is best)
Chocolate Chex Cereal (satisfies sweet and chocolate tooth, tastes great, is low in sugar and has whole grains)
Kellogg’s Special K Chocolatey Delight cereal
Grape Tomatoes (sweet and a negative calorie food, eat them as much as you like)
Bran flakes (use skim milk for low fat option, and add fresh berries for fiber and sweetness)
Triscuit’s Thin Crisps
Grilled Parmesean Cheese Tomatoes (slice tomato in half, sprinkle cheese on top and roast for a few minutes in the oven)
Sugar Snap Peas (add low fat or non fat ranch for dipping)
Laughing Cow Light Cheese Wedges
Soy Chips
V8 Vegetable Juice
Canned Tuna
Sugar Free Popsicles
Edamame
Oatmeal
Sugar Free Sherbet
Sugar Free Ice Cream
Deli turkey or chicken breast (wrap in lettuce and eat away)
Whole wheat or whole grain bagels
Wasa Multigrain Crispbread (top with avocado, tomato slices, low or non-fat cream cheese)
Nori, Seaweed (same as what is wrapped around sushi, on its own it’s crispy and very nutritious, low in calories and zero fat and carbs, mimics potato chips, but, with very few calories, no fat, and no carbs).
Vegetable Chips
Pumpkin seeds
Coffee with skim milk with Splenda (artificial sweetener) or Stevia (natural plant sweetener)
Lowfat chocolate milk (not for low carb diets)
Chicken broth

Drinks

Water
Green Tea
Ginger Tea
Orange Pekoe Tea, Earl Gray Tea
Sugar Free Flavored Teas
Coffee
Aloe Vera Juice
Drinkable Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Beet Juice
Carrot Juice
Tomato Juice
V8 Vegetable Juice
Wheatgrass Juice
Fresh Squeezed Fruit Juices

Fruit Juices

Be cautious with fruit juices, many have a lot of sugar and they are high in calories. Fresh squeezed is always best for no added sugar, but, too much of any kind of juice is not ideal for weight loss or calorie control.

They are also insulin triggers that affect the balance of blood sugar levels, so not good for Diabetics or those in a pre-diabetic state. A piece of fresh fruit is a better option.

 

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