Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips & Checklist
Healthy Shopping Tips *Always ensure you read labels. Look for hidden fats, chemical preservatives, colours, added sugar & salt. Don’t just trust a label saying “Trans Fat Free”, “Low in Fat”, “Sugar Free” – become label conscious about what goes into food choices. *General Rule – do the majority of your shopping in the produce section and on the outside of the market – avoid most inner isles, as this is where convenience products, fast, refined, processed foods are. *General things to avoid – hydrogenated oils, BHT, BHA, artificial colours (i.e. FD & C #4), aspartame, MSG. *Whenever possible, buy Organic. To ensure no pesticides, chemicals, hormones or additives, as well as helping to create sustainable agriculture practices. The earth will repay you with good health. Frequently these products have shorter ingredient lists, as well as containing healthier ingredients with little or no preservatives. Local Food is also a great choice to support economic, social and energy of your community. BUY PLENTY OF Fruits & Vegetables
Should be the majority of your purchase – try to fill the largest part of your shopping cart
Choose bright colours, lots of variety with different textures and tastes
Frozen veggies & fruit are handy when in a pinch for time
AVOID CANNED VEGETABLES as much as possible.
BUY ADEQUATE/LIMITED AMOUNTS OF Grains, Breads, Wraps, Bagels, Pasta
Choose whole grains, sprouted grains & different kinds of grains
There are lots of healthy whole grain options that are tasty and full of variety in texture
Try picking up some barley, quinoa, millet, spelt kernels, brown & wild rice
AVOID WHITE FLOUR & WHITE SUGAR (includes enriched products, derum semolina, 60% products, icing sugar, brown sugar & items containing these)
BUY LIMITED AMOUNTS OF Dairy, Eggs, Cheese & Related Products
Buy Organic as much as possible to avoid hormones, additives & chemicals
Look for lower fat options with few ingredients on the label – like cottage cheese, light options of goat cheese feta, sour cream, yogurt (live culture with no added sugar)
Try rice, coconut, oat or almond milk instead of dairy – they can be used as you would use regular milk
Free run eggs – happy chickens, make happy eggs!
OKAY TO HAVE ON HAND Frozen Food items
Frozen Berries & Fruit for when making homemade desserts, muffins or as toppings for whole grain cereals, etc.
Frozen vegetables for in a pinch or when making soups and stews
Lean meats (un-breaded)
Popsicles can easily be made at home from fresh fruit & or vegetables juices and purees.
Try Limited amounts of organic varieties of ice cream
Rice, cashew and Coconut milk based “ice” cream are tasty and contain much less saturated fats & sugar than traditional ice cream.
LIMIT Frozen yogurt which contains much less fat than traditional ice cream – but use sparingly as it contains high amounts of sugar.
AVOID FROZEN DINNERS & MICROWAVE MEALS
HAVE ON HAND, BUT USE WISELY Condiments, Dressings & Miscellaneous items
Mayonnaise – try the “light” or vegan varieties - if not able to make your own
Mustard – limit to plain which you can dress up with unpasturized honey, maple syrup or cayenne for a little extra zip (once you’re at home)
Ketchup should at least be organic, but keep to a minimum
Avoid salad dressing – it’s easy to make your own
Look for Natural varieties of Peanut butter, nut & seed butters without added sugars or hydrogenated oils.
Instead of sugary jams try Apple Butter, or no sugar added varieties (be sure to read the label to avoid artificial sweetener
Unpasturized honey is much more nutritious
Oils – good buys – olive, grapeseed, sunflower, coconut – look for a dark bottle, refrigerate once opened and use within 3 months.
Butter is better – avoid margarine & products made with modified or hydrogenated oils. Ghee is also a great food that can be enjoyed by many who are otherwise dairy intolerant.
Vinegar should be apple cider, balsamic, wine or rice vinegars – Avoid traditional white variety
AVOID commercial pickled items as they use white vinegar & lots of sugar to manufacture
Meats & Fish
Look for organic or free run options as often as possible
Choose lean cuts, skinless and lean ground meats
Try turkey or chicken burgers instead of hamburgers
Canned tuna and salmon can be used in a pinch – try looking for wild caught, and dolphin friendly.
LIMIT OR AVOID RED MEATS, DELI MEATS (avoid nitrates, nitrites)
Treats & Desserts
Try popping your own corn – avoid microwave popcorn
Look for baked chips – avoid fried chips with added artificial flavors (despite the label saying they are “Trans Fat Free” – this may not actually be the case as this is prior to “frying” the potatoes)
Trail mix (no salt) is a nice snack – dried fruits, nuts & seeds (avoid sulphites)
Choose organic, fair trade dark chocolate in limited amounts
Baking supplies are essential for whole foods home baking.
AVOID Convenience Foods
Chips, Pop, Pretzels, sugary “juice” drinks, sports drinks, chocolate bars & snack items
Pastries, cakes, cupcakes, bakery items containing white flour, sugar, hydrogenated oils. Instead discuss with Jo-Anne how to work with natural ingredient to make healthy treats & snacks!
HEALTHY SHOPPING CHECK LIST
Filling your Pantry and Fridge with Supplies
o Whole Grain flours: spelt, brown rice, oat, barley, kamut, rye, etc.
o Whole flours/meals: buckwheat, flax meal/flour, cornmeal, quinoa, amaranth, coconut, hemp meal etc.
o Oat flakes, spelt flakes, quinoa flakes
o Raw cane sugar or sucanat
o Aluminum free baking powder
o Baking soda
o Sea Salt (fine grind Brittany Grey or Himalayan are nice)
o Pure Vanilla, Maple and Peppermint extracts
o Coconut, grapeseed, sunflower and olive oils, butter
o Ground cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger
o Fresh or frozen fruit
o Grated coconut, raisins, dates (unsulfited)
o Chocolate chips (fair trade/ organic & non-hydrogentated)
Zucchini (green / yellow)
Squash (summer / winter)
Turnips or Rutabaga
Peppers, Sweet (avoid green)
Leek / Green onion
Herbs – Fresh & Dried
Ground Mustard or Mustard Seed
Herbal Teas (selection)
Lemon / Lime
Grapefruit / Pomelo
Cantaloupe, Honey dew melon
Fruit Juice (not from concentrate – limited)
Nuts & Seeds (& their butters)
Sesame seeds (white/black)
Tahini (sesame seed butter)
Chia seeds (white/black)
Flax seeds (brown/golden)
Whole Grains & Cereal products
Oat groats or steel cut oats
Wild / red / japonica rice
Granola cereal (no sugar added)
Shredded grains cereal
Whole grain flat bread / tortilla wraps
Sprouted grain bread / muffins
Whole Grain crackers (no preservatives or additives)
Lentils & Dried Legumes
Red / Green Lentils
Chick peas (garbanzo beans)
Black eyed peas
Peanuts (peanut butter)
Poultry, Fish, Meats & Fermented Soy Products
All protein sources should be free range &/or organic whenever possible
Chicken breasts (skinless)
Fresh Fish (wild caught)
- salmon, tuna, mackerel, cod, halibut, etc.