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The Top 10 Healthy Eating Foods and Ultimate Grocery List

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Healthy Eating Foods
Juice and healthy foods

I’m so glad you’re reading this right now – here are the Top 10 Healthy Eating Foods (and the Ultimate Grocery List).  This should help get you started (or give more ideas) for your healthy eating journey. See this post for help with Meal Planning and this post for Healthy Snacks.

Note: My favorite blender to use is the NutriBullet for a budget friendly choice. If you would like to use a higher quality, more professional blender, you can invest in the Vitamix but be sure of your commitment as this is an expensive tool.

Top 10 Healthy Eating Foods

  • Vegetables:  You knew this already right?  The #1 action you can take to start eating better is to add more vegetables to your diet.  While just about any vegetables are good, I want you to focus on adding some cruciferous and dark, leafy vegetables every day. My favorites are broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, arugula and bok choy but this category also includes spinach, kale, mustard greens, kohlrabi, cabbage, radishes and turnips. They are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals.  My favorite preparation is roasted or grilled.
  • Nuts and Nut Butter: Hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pecans — nuts are a good source of plant protein and they also have monounsaturated fats, one of the “good” fats.  They are also a great snack. I also recommend nut butters (my favorite is Almond Butter).  Don’t forget to read the labels!  The only ingredient should be the nut – no added sugar, oil or other additives.
  • Berries: Fruit gets mixed reviews in some more restrictive plans such as low carb and keto but everyone agrees that berries are probably the best fruits for a healthy diet because they are high in fiber, antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients.  I focus on strawberries and this is where I spend more in my budget to buy organic when I can as strawberries are the list of produce with higher pesticides.  Tip:  Frozen berries are just as good as fresh, work well in smoothies and are a great option when they are out of season. 
  • Olive oil: Olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fatty acids and should be included in your pantry.  Be aware of cooking with olive oil – you want to use the right type based on the amount of heat.  Use EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for dressings and regular olive oil for cooking.  Don’t use olive oil for high heat cooking as it degrades – use an oil with a high smoke point such as coconut or avocado oil.
  • Beans:  Beans are a good source of fiber and protein and can help you feel full.   They can also be a great snack – Hummus is a favorite in our family.
  • Fish: Fish is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which help prevent heart disease.  However, the type of fish is important – Use these great resources to identify sustainable and healthier options:

Downloadable Guide:  https://www.seafoodwatch.org/recommendations/download-consumer-guides 

Search Online for Options:  https://www.seafoodwatch.org/recommendations

  • Whole grains: Grains get such mixed reviews these days.  If your plan includes grains, choose wisely and read the label.  Check your labels to make sure you are getting 100% whole grain and a small list of ingredients.  For oatmeal, use steel cut oatmeal, not pre-processed.  Brown rice is a good option and quinoa is a complete protein.  Tip:  Cook your quinoa in a vegetable or chicken broth to add flavor.
  • Yogurt: Dairy is another item that gets bashed a lot.  Try unflavored greek yogurt for a good source of protein if dairy agrees with you.  Be wary of flavored yogurts and always read the label.  Those delicious fruit flavored yogurts can contain a lot of sugar. I like to chop some fresh fruit to mix in, or defrost some frozen fruit to mix in. I prefer a little crunch as well but granola has so much sugar – check the labels, you will be shocked. Here is a great tip – use a few chopped pecans – it avoids the sugar and adds a great crunch.
  • Avocado:  Avocados are a great way to get healthy fats into your diet.  A little planning goes a long way – a soft to the touch (but not mushy) avocado is ready to eat, if it’s hard to the touch it will ripen in a few days on the counter.  I will often buy a soft, medium and hard avocado so I am set for the week.  You can smoosh it on toast, slice it for tacos, or chop it into a salad.  
  • Dark Chocolate:  A tiny bit goes a long way to satisfying that sweet tooth.  Make sure it is at least 70% cocoa and enjoy a square or two when you need it!
healthy greens

Ultimate Grocery Guide

  • Streamline your grocery shopping: One great way is to shop online – that way you avoid all the extras.  You may have to pay a service fee but you’re also not adding non- essentials as you walk through the store so I find that shopping online actually costs less. And on a really busy week, have your groceries delivered.
  • Always start with a list: Plan your meals for the week and you can purchase all of the staples for the week plus the fresh food for at least the first half of the week.  Then you can make a quick stop mid-week to get any additional fresh items needed to finish off the week. 
  • Start in the produce section and plan to shop around the outside perimeter of the store as much as possible.  Only go down the packaged food aisles for a specific item on your list such as oil.  No more wandering through each aisle looking at everything. Use this list EWG Dirty Dozen to determine what should be a priority if you can afford to add some organic options.

Ultimate Grocery List for the Top 10 Healthy Eating Foods

 This Ultimate Grocery List sets you up for a week of delicious, healthy eating.  You can use these items to help complete your meal plan for the week.  If you prefer something different, select your favorite within the same category.  For example, if you don’t like broccoli, select another cruciferous vegetable.

VEGETABLES

  • Spinach
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower 
  • Mixed greens (buy a couple different types of lettuces or the prepackaged mix)
  • Green, Red & Yellow peppers

FRUITS

  • Frozen fruit
  • Fresh berries
  • Bananas
  • Fresh, in season – pear, orange, peach
  • Apples
  • 1-2 Avocados

PROTEIN

  • Fresh or frozen fish such as salmon filets
  • Chicken breasts, preferably pastured raised, organic

NUTS & SEEDS

  • Ground flax seed
  • Almond Butter (or Peanut butter if tolerated)
  • Almonds & pistachios (or other favorite nut)

GRAINS

  • Quinoa
  • 100% whole grain bread
  • Brown rice

CONDIMENTS/MISCELLANEOUS

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • Olive Oil
  • Avocado Oil
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Salad dressing – no sugar added
  • Tastefully Simple
  • Chicken Seasoning
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Honey Teriyaki Sauce  

BEVERAGES

  • Non dairy milk alternative such as almond milk or oatmilk
  • Dairy
  • Greek yogurt – non flavored
  • Cheese stick 

HERBS/SPICES

  • cinnamon
  • cayenne pepper
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • Fresh garlic
  • Jarred garlic 
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Ancho chili powder

I hope this has provided some good food for thought about how you can transition to healthy eating or reinforced those good decisions you’ve been making.  To dive more into this healthy eating journey, here are a few of my favorite resources:

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9 Comments

  1. This is a great list to do my groceries with! I usually get alot of these but I’m missing a few foods especially dark chocolate!

  2. Great list! glad I am already ticking quite a few of these, but I came across a few new ones too! I love the spices….simple, but really good!

  3. Such a great list for delicious healthy foods! I especially love how you suggest to plan for grocery shopping. I often find myself in the grocery store for way longer than I was hoping, but planning ahead or ordering online will make it much shorter and easier.

  4. What a great list! Sometimes it’s hard to shop but having a list of healthy food ready for grocery shopping is very helpful. I’ll have to write down some of these suggestions for my next grocery run. Thanks for sharing!

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