The Top 5 Foods a Dietitian Always Has in Her Grocery Cart


The other day, I was wandering around a home improvement store looking for one little itty bitty item. Goodness! I am too proud to ask for something until I just can't find it and on this day, I had to ask. Thank you to Frank who kindly lead me right to the product, otherwise I probably would have walked out without it.

As I paid for my item; I realized, the feeling I had just now is exactly how most people feel in the grocery store. There are so many times in the store, so many choices and so many similar products. How does one find or choose the right one?

Since I work in a grocery store everyday, it is easy for me to know exactly what I want and exactly where to find it. I thought I would share with you my Top 5 Food Items that I think should be part of every trip to the grocery store and why.

#1 Blueberries

These are truly one of the healthiest fruits you can eat. 1 cup is only 80 calories, and virtually no fat. They are full of antioxidants, especially Vitamin C, and fiber. The fiber in these little beauties help you feel fuller longer. And did I mention you get a WHOLE cup for only 80 calories. Yummy!!

#2 Spinach

Another nutritional powerhouse found in your friendly produce aisle. Lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus you can sneak this veggie into almost anything (my favs include smoothies and anything with marinara sauce). Want to know the best part? The nutrients intensify when it's cooked, so even better in your lasagna!! Freeze fresh spinach and forgo your ice cubes in your smoothie.

#3 Salmon

High quality protein, heart and brain healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, and a multitude of delicious ways to prepare this fish, make it my top protein food. Grill it, bake it, grind it for burgers and make your own sushi rolls. Salmon provides other nutrients like Vitamin D, B Vitamins and even a little calcium. It's a must eat at least once a week.

#4 Oatmeal

In a previous post, I asked "what oat floats your boat?" Meaning all oats, any kind, are a great addition to breakfast, lunch and to your favorite recipes. Oats pack fiber known as beta-glucan that has been studied to help lower blood cholesterol. It also is a source of magnesium which many of our diets are extremely low in, causing issues with digestion and muscle fatigue. Oats also have immune boosting zinc. Try oats savory and sweet, use instead of breadcrumbs in recipes and blend up for a thicker smoothie.

#5 Milk

Milk is the only naturally occurring nutrient-rich beverage. When choosing low-fat to fat-free milk, you have a perfect little package. It has the right carbohydrate to protein ratio to be a balanced snack and is a superior source of calcium (remember friends, bone loss occurs around age 30-35 so you can build those stores before and maintain those stores after). This is also one of the few foods we get Vitamin D from. With all the other choices of "milk" options, this one reigns supreme in my book. Why? Just check out the ingredient list. There is more to milk than just drinking a glass.

Hope this helps your next shopping trip a little bit easier and a lot more healthier.