The Produce Section
- Choose mostly raw, fresh, and preferably organic vegetables.
- When purchasing a salad mix, look for the most colorful greens in the bag. The more color, the more healthful antioxidants.
The Dairy Section
- Next, pick up dairy products, such as low-fat cottage cheese and other low-fat cheeses, and Greek-style yogurt. Be sure to choose the additive-free version.
- Stay away from soft, pasteurized, or artificially colored cheese products. They are high in saturated fat, dyes, and preservatives.
- Choose organize free-range eggs if available.
The Fish Section
- Many varieties of fish are loaded with fat-burning omega-3 fatty acids. The types with the most omega-3s include the rich, oily, dark fleshed fish, such as salmon, sardines, bluefin tuna, and trout. Choose any white fish and steer clear of seafood that has been breaded or fried. Canned light meat tuna (water-packed) is fine, too; you’ll find that in the canned-meat aisle.
The Poultry and Meat Department
- Select low-fat organic poultry such as chicken or turkey breast. Avoid self-basting turkeys, which have fat injected into them. Eat lean ground turkey and chicken that contains less skin, which is very high in fat and calories.
- Choose organic meats, if possible.
The Whole-Grain Aisles: Breads, Cereals, and Grains
- Choose all whole-grains and food containing whole grains, including cereals, breads, whole-grain crackers, oatmeal, brown rice, and wild rice. The product is whole grain if the first ingredient on the label is whole grain, whole wheat, or rye.
- Steer clear of all white flour products, white rice, and white pasta.
The Beans/Legumes Aisle
These foods are vegetarian proteins with abundant nutrition, including lots of fiber. One half-cup of breans contains as much protein as three ounces of broiled steak or chicken breast. Choose beans cooked without animal fat.
The Soup Aisle
The best choices are salt-and fat-free bean, lentil, pea, vetable, barley, and brown rice soups. Select organic products if available. Avoid canned soups made with preservatives, MSG, or fat as well as all creamed soups. There are lots of varieties of canned soups made without added chemicals.
The Frozen-Food Section
Frozen produce without added sugar, fat, or sauce is a good choice. Frozen fruits and vegetables are often as nutritious as (and sometimes more so than) their fresh counterparts since they're frozen immediately after harvest. The frozen vegetable blends make planning healthy meals easy. Frozen fruits are great for smoothies, as long as they contain no added sugar.
The Nuts and Seeds Aisle
- Go for all fresh, raw nuts.
- Avoid salted, oiled, or roasted nuts.
- Select nut butters, such as peanut butter or raw almond butter.
The Oil Aisle
Here you'll want to choose cold-pressed olive oil, flaxseed oil, and canola oil. Avoid all saturated fats, hydrogenated margarine, refine processed oils, shortenings, and hardened oils. Low-fat salad dressings and low-fat mayo are good choices too.
The Seasonings Aisle
Keep these spices and condiments on hand: garlic powder, onion powder, dried herbs (such as basil or oregano), ground cumin, vinegar (red wine and balsamic), dijon mustard, ground cinnamon, chicken or vegetable broth, salsa.