A comprehensive grocery list should cover everything. It must have the items you need for carbs, sources of protein, greens, and condiments. Unfortunately, healthy sources of food can be expensive especially when you shop at selected organic stores and groceries. Thus, it can be a challenge to stick to a healthy lifestyle when you think of the costs that come with it.
But, it should not deter you from choosing to live healthily. There are plenty of ways on how you can tick off all the items from your healthy grocery shopping list without overspending. But first, you have to identify the things you need to buy. The list below is your guide to find out what food goes into your basket during your shopping trips.
You should go for “whole wheat” or those made of “whole grain.” These should appear first in the list of ingredients. The whole grain bread you choose should at least have three to four grams of fiber.
Your list should include skinless chicken or turkey breasts. As much as possible, avoid red meat. If you need minced beef, go for ground chicken or turkey. If you have to buy red meat, you should go for lean cuts. Also, you can ask for grass-fed beef. You can find these in organic market Manila or stores that specialize in organic food.
It’s best to purchase and consume fresh seafood. You can cook up a lot of flavorful dishes when you incorporate seafood into your healthy grocery list. Add a variety of fishes like salmon, mackerel, halibut, and trout as an alternative protein source.
4. Pasta and Rice
Pasta and rice are also forms of carbs. You should pick brown rice and whole wheat or whole grain pasta. You need to load up with fiber to help your digestion.
5. Oils, sauces, salad dressing and condiments
You can select different types of sauces, salad dressing, and condiments but you should avoid those loaded with sugar, sodium, and preservatives. Select those that are plant-based and are made of all-natural ingredients. Also, you should replace regular ones with their light versions or those with fat-free labels. If you want to limit your sugar and sodium intake, then make sauces and dressing at home. That way, you keep track of what’s in them.
6. Cereals and breakfast food
Pick up breakfast cereals and bars that are high in fiber and low on sugar. You should always prioritize multigrain or whole grain options. If you want to add flavor in your bowl, you can add berries, dried fruit, and nuts.
7. Soups and canned goods
Instead of reaching for meatloaf or other ready to serve meals, you should pick up tuna or salmon in water. Diced or whole peeled tomatoes are an excellent source of lycopene. Other than these, you should get cans of beans. Black, kidney, or soybeans are healthy sources of protein.
8. Dairy, cheese, and eggs
If you need milk, you should get skimmed milk or low-fat ones. Soymilk is also a great alternative. You should also have some fat-free or low-fat yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cheese types. Don’t forget to look for tofu before checking out the counter.
Fruits and vegetables are non-negotiables of a healthy grocery list. When picking up your produce, you should include different varieties of fruits and vegetables. Always look for those that are in season and locally available. They taste better and cost less than those imported from other regions.
If you have to get frozen food, you should take frozen fruits and vegetables. You can include the greens in soups, stews, and casseroles. Meanwhile, frozen fruits are great for making smoothies. You also shouldn’t deprive yourself of snacks and crackers. You should have nuts, dried fruit, whole grain crackers, and dark chocolate to curb your hunger or satisfy your cravings.
These are the grocery items you must include on your list if you wish to shift to a healthy lifestyle. You must be consistent in what you buy, so you don’t forget the items on your list. Though some of them can be pricey, it doesn’t mean you have to trade them for less healthy alternatives. The key is to make some lifestyle changes to stick to your budget.
Here are some of the changes worth noting:
1. Eat at home
Try not to order takeout or dine at a restaurant whenever you feel hungry. Choose to use your groceries to prepare a healthy meal instead of eating fast food loaded with grease.
2. Prepare meals beforehand
Take the guesswork out of preparing meals. You can dedicate a day to lay out your groceries and make your meals for the week. That way, you have healthy, delicious meals in an instant.
3. Keep your leftovers
Don’t waste your groceries. Keep your leftovers in the fridge. You can use them to whip up something new whenever you feel like trying out an interesting recipe.
4. Get everything you need in one go
Try not to have multiple grocery trips. You’ll only end up taking items you don’t need. As much as possible, go to the grocery once a week to stock up on the essentials.
Making lifestyle changes of shopping for healthy food isn’t as hard as you think. All you need is patience and a bit conscience to pick your cooking over fast food orders. When you learn to eat healthily, you end up with a strong body and a full pocket. Those things won’t be far from reality when you help yourself actively work on achieving them.