Grocery Shopping 101

Even though I practice moderation and believe in a “balanced intake” with my eating, I know I still get lots of questions regarding what my meals look like and what I purchase at the grocery store.  So I wanted to give you all a run down of my favorite healthy choices at the grocery store!

No, I do not eat just Quest bars, cookies, and cereal.  Although those are fun to photograph!  The key to eating in moderation is still PORTION CONTROL.  So the best thing you can do is center your meals around nutrient-dense, high fiber foods that will fill you up.  Then, you have a little extra wiggle room for some fun treats.  This is really what moderation looks like, 80% healthy, whole foods and 20% fun foods!

If you need help getting started, look back at my How to Calculate your Macronutrients Series (Part 1).

Below, you will see staples that I buy at the grocery store and also what I keep in my pantry.  I mostly eat fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy for my protein sources but included meat as well in the protein section.  I also broke down carbohydrates, protein, and fats into further categories to help with making it easier on you to find in a grocery store!

Dietitian Deanna’s Grocery Shopping List



  • Quaker rice cakes (all flavors)
  • Ezekiel brand bread-usually buy plain or Cinnamon Raisin (found in freezer)
  • Alvarado Street Bakery brand breads (they have a great 50 calorie flax seed variety)
  • Ezekiel wraps/tortillas
  • La Tortilla Factory low carb whole wheat wraps
  • Joseph’s oat bran pitas (Walmart)
  • Other whole wheat, high fiber wraps/pitas
  • Whole grain English muffins
  • Corn tortillas
  • Brown Rice (I buy in bulk bags and cook a lot and freeze portions)
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat or whole grain (like brown rice) pasta
  • Black bean pasta (found at Sprouts)
  • Other whole grains such as barley, whole-wheat couscous, etc
  • Beans- black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, lentils, etc (especially for cookies)
  • Oats- Just the plain kind and I add my own fruit! I use quick cook steel cut oats (Trader Joe’s) or old-fashioned rolled oats or instant plain oats
  • Cream of Wheat
  • Kashi or Nutri-grain whole-wheat waffles
  • Pre-portioned, low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt (ie Skinny cow, Artic Zero)
  • Cereal (I enjoy Chex, Kashi, and Quaker Oatmeal Squares)
  • Fiber One desserts/bars

Tips: Look for the first ingredient to be “whole wheat” or ‘whole wheat flour’.  Enriched wheat flour is actually white flour!


  • Broccoli
  • Broccoli slaw
  • Green beans
  • Asparagus
  • Cucumber
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Spinach
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale/Chard/Collard greens
  • Bell Peppers in any color
  • Zucchini
  • Eggplant
  • Carrots
  • Tomatoes
  • Yellow onions
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Kabocha squash
  • Acorn squash
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Butternut squash
  • Delicata squash

Tip: Buy fresh or frozen instead of canned vegetables to cut back on preservatives!


  • Bananas
  • Apples (pink lady are my favorite)
  • Oranges
  • Berries of all kinds (usually  buy organic and frozen)
  • Cherries
  • Grapefruit
  • Fresh lemons and limes
  • Frozen Fruit (mangoes, pineapple, peaches for baking and making smoothies)
  • Dried fruit (small portions are OK)
  • Dates


Dairy & Non-Dairy:

  • Eggs
  • Egg white cartons
  • Greek yogurt – I use Fage or Chobani plain and mix in frozen fruit, PB2, stevia, cinnamon, etc!
  • String-cheese snacks
  • Unsweetened vanilla almond milk (not really a protein but fits here!)

Tip: If you like whole-fat cheeses and butter, you don’t have to deprive yourself. Just use smaller portions.  I personally don’t enjoy the taste of cheese!

Meat & Seafood & Meat Substitutes:

  • Wild-caught salmon
  • Trout
  • Tilapia/Swai fish
  • Frozen shrimp
  • Tuna (in pouches or fresh)
  • Wild-caught cod
  • Halibut
  • Tempeh
  • Vegetarian meat crumbles
  • Chicken breasts-boneless and skinless or whole
  • Turkey– breasts and/or lean ground
  • Low sodium lunch meats 
  • Beef- Choose the leanest cuts – ones with very little visible marbling.
  • Pork

Tip: Learn what a portion size (3-4 oz) of meat is by measuring on a food scale.  It can be eye opening!


Healthy Fats:

  • Nuts- Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios (I buy unsalted or raw varieties)
  • Avocado
  • Pre-made guacamole
  • Almond Butter
  • All-natural peanut butter
  • Cashew butter
  • Ground flax seed
  • Chia seeds
  • Other seeds: sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut butter


Condiments, Spices, Natural Sweeteners/Extras

  • Fresh herbs (I love cilantro and basil)
  • Sriracha and other hot sauce varieties
  • Canned pumpkin puree
  • Hummus
  • Mustard (I love jalapeno mustard and other fun varieties
  • Salsa
  • Braggs liquid aminos (similar to soy sauce)
  • Braggs apple cider vinegar
  • Honey/Agave Nectar (I also enjoy using the sugar-free honey from Target)
  • Pure Maple Syrup – The real stuff.
  • Spices (ie Mrs. Dash without added salt)
  • Reduced-sodium soups
  • Bottled minced garlic
  • Pickles
  • Dark chocolate pieces (containing more than 70% cocoa)


  • Oat flour (can also make your own by blending rolled oats)
  • Coconut flour
  • Almond Flour
  • Whole wheat flour

Hope this can help the next time you find yourself at your local grocery store.  I know I am there 2-3 times a week so I basically consider it a hobby 😉



2 thoughts on “Grocery Shopping 101

  1. I have seen a few post on why “dietitians don’t use egg whites” especially bought via cartons. I would love your opinion on the topic. I love egg whites but I must admit I get too easily influenced by things I read on the internet, especially written by people who I believe are more knowledgeable. If you have time I would love your input.


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