Healthy Grocery Shopping

Step 1 – Create a Healthy Grocery Shopping List

Having a healthy grocery shopping list with you when you go to the store is one of the best ways to stick to your nutrition goals. Why? Because having a list is the first step in helping you ignore the temptation of strategically placed high-fat foods that are aimed at the impulse buyer. If you create a plan you’ll know exactly what you want to buy.

Once your plan is in place, stay focused on what you intended to buy and skip the sugary snacks. With a healthy grocery shopping list, you’ll be more apt to buy what you intended and keep within budget.

Step 2 – Stick to your Grocery Shopping List

Ideally you would plan your weekly menu first, then check off the items you need, filling in the items that are missing. If you care for others, writing down their ‘wish list’ for unhealthy foods may be just what you need to convince them to try lower calorie alternatives. Be careful to stay away from diet foods that have empty calories. It’s better to eat nutritious food that’s a little higher in calories because it’ll help fuel your body. Empty calories do nothing for you, so read the label to know what you’re buying.

You’ll find that shopping goes by faster and that you’ll stick to your goals easier! Of course, having a treat once in a while can actually help you stay on track. And very importantly – Have fun!!

Healthy Grocery Shopping List:

Healthy Grocery Shopping List



□ Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk □ Plain cereal, dry or cooked
□ Low-fat or reduced-fat cottage cheese □ Saltines, soda crackers (low-sodium or unsalted tops)
□ Fat-free cottage cheese □ Graham crackers
□ Low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses □ Other low-fat crackers
□ Fat-free or low-fat yogurt □ Rice (brown, white, etc.)
□ Light or diet margarine (tub, squeeze, or spray) □ Pasta (noodles, spaghetti)
□ Fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream □ Bulgur, couscous, or kasha
□ Fat-free cream cheese □ Wheat mixes
□ Eggs/egg substitute □ Tabouli grain salad
□ ________________________________ □ Hominy
□ Polenta


□ Polvillo
□ Bread, bagels, or pita bread □ Hominy grits
□ English muffins □ Quinoa
□ Yeast breads (whole wheat, rye, pumpernickel, multi-grain, or raisin) □ Millet
□ Corn tortillas (not fried) □ Aramanth
□ Low-fat flour tortillas □ Oatmeal
□ Rice crackers □ _________________________________
□ ________________________________ □ _________________________________

VEGETABLES (Fresh, Canned and Frozen)

Other Fresh Vegetables:

Fresh vegetables:

□ Okra
□ Broccoli □ Eggplant
□ Peas □ Grape leaves
□ Corn □ Mustard greens
□ Cauliflower □ Kale
□ Squash □ Leeks
□ Green beans □ Bamboo shoots
□ Green leafy vegetables □ Chinese celery
□ Spinach □ Bok choy
□ Lettuce □ Napa cabbage
□ Cabbage □ Seaweed
□ Artichokes □ Rhubarb
□ Cucumber □ _________________________________
□ Asparagus
□ Mushrooms


□ Carrots or celery □ White meat chicken and turkey (skin off)
□ Onions □ Fish (not battered)
□ Potatoes □ Beef, round or sirloin
□ Tomatoes □ Extra lean ground beef such as ground round
□ Green peppers □ Pork tenderloin
□ Chiles □ _________________________________
□ ________________________________ □ _________________________________
Canned vegetables: (low-sodium or no-salt-added) Meat equivalents:
□ Canned tomatoes □ Tofu (or bean curd)
□ Tomato sauce or pasta □ Beans (see bean list)
□ Other canned vegetables □ Eggs/egg substitutes (see dairy list)
□ Canned vegetable soup, reduced sodium □ _________________________________
□ ________________________________ □ _________________________________
□ _________________________________

Frozen Vegetables

(without added fats):

□ Broccoli
□ Spinach
□ Mixed medley, etc.
□ ________________________________


(Fresh, Canned and Frozen)

Canned Fruit

(in juice or water):

Fresh fruit: □ Canned pineapple
□ Apples □ Applesauce
□ Bananas □ Other canned fruits (mixed or plain)
□ Peaches □ _________________________________
□ Oranges
□ Pears

Frozen fruits

(without added sugar):

□ Grapes □ Blueberries
□ Grapefruit □ Raspberries
□ Apricots □ 100% fruit juice
□ Dried Fruits □ _________________________________
□ Cherries
□ Plums

Dried fruits:

□ Melons □ Raisins/dried fruit (these tend to be higher in calories than fresh fruit)
□ Lemons □ _________________________________
□ Limes □ _________________________________
□ Plantains □ _________________________________
□ Mangoes
□ ________________________________


(If Canned – No Salt Added)

Other Fresh Fruit:

□ Lentils
□ Kiwi □ Black beans
□ Olives □ Red beans (kidney beans)
□ Figs □ Navy beans
□ Quinces □ Pinto beans
□ Currants □ Black-eyed peas
□ Persimmons □ Fava beans
□ Pomegranates □ Italian white beans
□ Papaya □ Great white northern beans
□ Zapote □ Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
□ Guava Dried beans, peas, and lentils (without flavoring packets)
□ Starfruit □ _________________________________
□ Litchi (lychee) nuts □ _________________________________
□ Winter melons □ _________________________________
□ ________________________________

Grocery Shopping – BAKING ITEMS


□ Flour □ Fat-free or low-fat salad dressings
□ Sugar □ Mustard (Dijon, etc.)
□ Imitation butter (flakes or buds) □ Ketchup
□ Non-stick cooking spray □ Barbecue sauce
□ Canned evaporated milk—fat-free (skim) or reduced fat (2%) □ Jam, jelly, or honey
□ Non-fat dry milk powder □ Spices
□ Cocoa powder, unsweetened □ Flavored vinegars
□ Baking powder □ Hoisin sauce and plum sauce
□ Baking soda □ Salsa or picante sauce
□ Cornstarch □ Canned green chiles
□ Unflavored gelatin □ Soy sauce (low-sodium)
□ Gelatin, any flavor (reduced calorie) □ Bouillon cubes/granules (low-sodium)
□ Pudding mixes (reduced calorie) □ ___________________________________
□ Angel food cake mix □ ___________________________________
□ ________________________________


Grocery Shopping – FROZEN FOODS

□ Almonds, unsalted
□ Fish fillets – not breaded □ Mixed nuts, unsalted
□ Egg substitute □ Peanuts, unsalted
□ 100% fruit juices (no sugar added) □ Walnuts
□ Fruits (no sugar added) □ Sesame seeds
□ Vegetables (plain) □ Pumpkin seeds, unsalted
□ ________________________________ □ Sunflower seeds, unsalted
Cashews, unsalted
Pecans, unsalted


□ _________________________________
□ No-calorie drink mixes
□ Reduced-calorie juices


□ Unsweetened iced tea □ Soft (tub) margarine
□ Carbonated water □ Mayonnaise, low-fat
□ Water □ Canola oil
□ ________________________________ □ Corn oil
□ Olive oil
□ Safflower oil
□ ____________________________________

Share with us!What Do You Think Cloud

Does having a Healthy Grocery Shopping List help you stick to your nutrition goals?

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Thank you for spending part of your day with us. Be sure to enjoy your shopping trip and don’t forget to bring your healthy grocery shopping list!! We wish you the best of health!

Source: NIH – What’s On Your Plate?

Author: Joan

We provide information and motivation focused on the importance of physical activity to our quality of life. It's that important.

4 thoughts

  1. For those people with discipline challenges, food shopping lists are a great idea. They control BOTH quality types of food and help balance macros needed on a daily basis. It is much simpler than most people realize. The most challenging hurdle is accepting responsibility to stick with the shopping list! I always encourage people to make room (about 10%) for comfort foods. This way the list doesn’t feel so depriving.
    Great idea to share!!

    1. Thank you Doctor – that is a great note – don’t be so strict with yourself that you cannot live with the small changes. Eventually they’ll add up to big improvements. Look for changes you can live with for life!

      I think the trick with the holiday’s coming is ‘moderation’. Have treats, but don’t overindulge – you’ll feel better, have more confidence that you can do this, and come January your fitness resolutions won’t seem so bad after all.

      Thank you for the wonderful advice, Doctor! I look forward to your visits!!

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