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15 Foods – Healthy & Strong Grocery List!

bag-vegetables-groceries-11-410x290Want to eat healthier? One of the easiest ways is to clear your cupboards of unhealthy foods like chips, soda, chocolate, cookies, candies and other products that are high in calories, sugar, simple carbohydrates or saturated fats.

Replace those unhealthy options with delicious and nourishing food choices – like those featured on the list below. Next time you go grocery shopping, pick up these 15 foods to instantly upgrade your pantry, your menu and your life!

  1. Pure peanut butter. Check the ingredients. Opt for a peanut butter that doesn’t contain added sugar or honey. Pure peanut butter is delicious, extremely filling and high in protein. It’s completely indulgent but without any of the guilt.
  2. Kale. Many people are intimidated by kale, but it is actually easy to work with and packed with nutrients. One cup of chopped kale has only 33 calories but 5 grams of fiber, 9% of your daily value of calcium, 134% of vitamin C, 206% of vitamin A and 684% of vitamin K. Add kale your favorite smoothie recipe or toss it with some garlic and oil and bake it in the oven.
  3. Unsweetened almond milk. Among the healthiest and most delicious of milk alternatives, almond milk contains only 30 calories and has zero grams of sugar. Compare that to 100 calories and 13 grams of sugar in low-fat milk. Best of all, almond milk is richer, creamier and even more delicious!
  4. Berries. Fresh or frozen, berries are delicious for snacking, a great addition to smoothies, high in fiber and can even help prevent cancer.
  5. Microgreens. Microgreens are baby greens that are picked shortly after germination. Popular microgreens include spinach, sunflower, beet and arugula. Tender, fresh and tasty, microgreens typically have 4 – 6x higher nutrient levels than their full-grown counterparts. As such, they’re a great addition to any salad!
  6. Carrot sticks. I love carrot sticks. When you’re craving a snack, but want to be mindful of calories, they’re the perfect go-to. They’re crunchy and satisfying, and also packed with vitamin A. In fact, a single carrot has two days worth of vitamin A.
  7. No sugar added cereal. Consuming traditional cereals is like starting your day with a bowl full of sugar. Though it takes some searching, find yourself a cereal with no sugar added. You’ll be amazed how different you feel; you’ll enjoy stable energy levels without the crash. My favorites are Engine 2 and Alpen cereals. Check the ingredients list to ensure that no sugars are added. Note: Even no sugar added cereals will contain some naturally occurring sugars (i.e., the sugars found in raisins, etc.).
  8. Brown rice. Did you know that all white rice starts as brown rice? Turning brown rice into white rice extends its shelf life from a few months to ten years, but it strips the rice of fiber and nutrients. Because brown rice is a complex carbohydrate and slow to digest, it won’t result in the same blood sugar spikes as white rice.
  9. Avocado. A world without avocados is a world in which I wouldn’t want to live. Avocados are high in heart-healthy fats, fiber and contain twice the amount of potassium as bananas! They’re also a great topping alternative to mayonnaise. I even substitute avocado for butter in baking recipes.
  10. Broccoli and friends. Truth be told, steamed broccoli is my favorite healthy side dish – but you should really taste the rainbow. Sweet potatoes. Edamame. Tomatoes. Brussels sprouts. Enjoy veggies and fruits of every color! And you need not eat fresh. Since frozen fruits and veggies are packaged at the peak of ripeness, many contain even more nutrients than their fresh alternatives! They’re also a lot cheaper!
  11. Almonds. Unsalted almonds are a great snack food. In fact, a study in the journal Obesity found that people who ate nuts at least twice per week were significantly less likely to gain weight than people who almost never ate nuts. They’re also rich in protein, vitamin E and manganese.
  12. Beans. We all know that beans get a bad rap, but the truth is that beans are extremely healthy and a great source of protein, fiber and good carbohydrates. Some of my favorites include soybeans, lentils, black beans, kidney beans and navy beans.
  13. Eggs. Eggs also get a bad rap, mainly because they’re high in cholesterol. However, there’s a difference between dietary and blood cholesterol – and most of us can eat eggs without negatively impacting our health. They’re also a delicious an inexpensive source of protein. And note that there’s no nutritional difference between brown eggs and white eggs.
  14. Olive oil. Though olive oil is high in fat and calories, it’s the good, heart-healthy fat. It’s great for mixing into dressings and for cooking over low temperature. It can reduce your risk for hearth disease, lower cholesterol levels and even reduce blood clotting.
  15. Lean meats. Lean meats are lower in healthy saturated fats and calories. It’s important to be mindful of the cut. Some turkey burger patties, for example, can be just as unhealthy as beef. And don’t forget about fish!

Do you have a favorite healthy grocery item that I didn’t mention? Share in the comments below!