As runners, bread is an integral part of most of our diets, but choosing from the different types can be a little overwhelming to say the least. White, multi-grain, whole wheat, sourdough, gluten-free—it’s so difficult to decide, even when you’re reading the package labels. What’s worse is that some breads marketed as “healthy” are sometimes loaded with hidden sugars or sodium.
But here’s the good news: All bread isn’t bad for you, and there’s a way to make bread a healthy part of your fueling routine. Instead of spending way too long picking out a loaf of bread at the supermarket, know the facts about bread and how to select one that is right for you.
What’s in bread?
This may seem obvious, but the main ingredient in most bread is wheat. Gluten-free bread is an exception to that rule, since gluten is a protein in wheat. Wheat is an excellent source of carbohydrates, which is the primary fuel source for exercise.
It’s pretty common knowledge that whole wheat bread is better for you than white bread, but why? A “whole” grain contains all three parts of the kernel—the bran, germ, and endosperm. Those three components of the grain house the valuable nutrients, such as fiber, protein, B vitamins, iron, zinc, and copper. White bread, on the other hand, is made from refined flour, which has the bran and germ removed. Without those two nutritious parts of the grain, the final refined flour is lacking nutrients such fiber and protein. To combat this, refined flours are enriched with iron, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, and folic acid, but they are still lacking in other nutrients that are present in whole grains.
Beyond the flour, bread usually has many other ingredients. Other grains and seeds, such as amaranth, oats, spelt, rye, flax seeds, or sesame seeds are often added for flavor and texture. Packaged bread almost always has some form of sweetener, like sugar, honey, corn syrup, salt, or even fruit juice.
So how do you choose a healthy type of bread?
When standing in the bread aisle, you want to follow a few basic rules. Look for breads that have:
- The word “whole” before the first ingredient to ensure you’re choosing a whole grain
- 6 grams of sugar or less
- At least 2 grams of fiber per serving
- At least 4 grams of protein per serving
Those rules will lead you in the direction of a healthy whole grain bread without many artificial additives.
But there is another important note that you want to keep in mind: The more fiber and protein a bread has, the longer it takes to digest. When you need quick-acting fuel right before or during a long run or race, white bread is digested quicker than whole wheat varieties to deliver carbohydrates into the bloodstream fast. If you have more time to fuel, whole grain bread slowly releases carbs to provide long lasting energy.
So what are the healthiest types of bread?
There’s no one “healthiest” or “right” type of bread for everyone, but knowing some of the healthier breads out there can help you make a swift selection. Below are five types of healthy bread to look for the next time you go grocery shopping.
- Whole-grain, multigrain, sourdough: which bread is the healthiest?
- 1. MaraNatha Almond Butter
- 2. Simply Balanced Quinoa
- 3. Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice
- 4. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
- 5. Curt’s Special Recipe Medium Salsa
- 6. Lundberg Organic Brown Basmati Rice
- 7. Simply Balanced Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti
- 8. San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes
- 9. Terra Medi Olive Oil
- 10. Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery Squirrelly Bread
- 11. Seven Sundays Muesli
- 12. Tazo Refresh Mint Tea
- 13. Organic Coconut Oil
- 14. Bob’s Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal
- 15. Kind Bars
- 16. Lara Bars
- 17. Bai5 Antioxidant Infusions
- 18. Somersaults Pacific Sea Salt
- 19. Wonderful Roasted and Salted Pistachios
- 20. Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn
- 21. Dreaming Cow Honey Pear Yogurt
- 22. Horizon Organic Half and Half
- 23. Amy’s Organic Mexican Casserole Bowls
- 24. Simply Balanced Frozen Organic Fruit
- 19 Delicious Vegan Products at Target
- Next time you head to Target, look for these great vegan products, available at locations nationwide:
- 9. Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino Chilled Coffee Drinks with Almondmilk (in Mocha or Vanilla Flavors)
- 10. Kite Hill Caramel Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt
- 11. LÄRABAR Original Fruit & Nut Food Bar
- 12. Sabra Hummus
- 13. Dang Toasted Coconut Chips
- 14. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
- 15. Lotus Biscoff & Go Cookie Butter and Breadsticks
- Order Your FREE Vegan Starter Kit
- 12 Healthy Foods From Target That You Should Stock In Your Fridge Or Pantry
- Coconut Yogurt
- Dried Mango Slices
- Black Beans
- Almond Butter
- Natural Peanut Butter
- Frozen Veggies (And Some Fruit)
- Coconut Oil
- Supermarket Savvy
- 1. YOLO food – from $8/meal
- 2. Fitnessration – from $9.40/meal
- 3. Grain – from $9.50/meal
- 4. AMGD – from $12.50/meal
- 5. Primal Meal Prep – from $10.90/meal
- 6. Eat Healthy – from $6.99/meal
- 7. Spinacas – from $9/meal
- 8. Fitthree – from $12.90/meal
- Cheap and healthy meals delivered to you
- 7 Simple Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget in Singapore
- Bring your own water bottle / thermos flask
- Carry healthy snacks in your bag
- Invest in a slow cooker
- … and an air fryer, for that matter
- Plan your meals meticulously
- Rethink your grocery list
- Freeze food if you can’t finish it
- The Top 10 Healthy Foods to Always Have On Your Grocery List
- 10 Healthy Foods to Buy Now
- FOR FLAVOR
Whole-grain, multigrain, sourdough: which bread is the healthiest?
In the quest for healthy eating, bread seems to be a food staple many struggle with.
And with so many choices lining the grocery store shelves, it can be difficult to know the nutritional difference each bread has to offer, and if the choice you are making is actually benefiting you in the way you hope.
READ MORE: 7 healthy foods that are stopping you from losing weight
Multigrain, whole-grain, sourdough, wholemeal, rye and low GI breads are considered to be the healthier bread options – but do you know which one is, in fact, the healthiest?
Registered dietitian Andy De Santis breaks down each option and reveals which type of bread you should be reaching for if you want maximum health benefits.
Multigrain bread is often made from white flour and includes some added grains.
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In order for a bread to be labelled “multigrain,” it must contain at least two different grains that each represent at least two per cent of the total product, De Santis says.
Grains can include barley, oats, wheat and flax, among others.
Multigrain is also low in fat, introduces more fibre into our diet, and includes 26 per cent of the daily recommended intake of manganese, Livestrong reveals. It also provides 12 per cent of your daily selenium intake, which is nutritionally essential for humans, the National Institute of Health says.
This type of bread is made with whole-grain flour.
“Technically speaking, whole-grain flour must include all parts of the original seed (bran, germ, endosperm) and be very minimally refined.
Make sure to look for the term “100 per cent whole-grain” on the label, the Cleveland Clinic warns, or “100 per cent whole wheat.”
Be cautious, however, of terms such as “wheat” and “multigrain” that don’t list a percentage on the package. This, the clinic says, often means the bread is made with partially, or mostly refined, white flour.
Eating whole-grains has been found to reduce inflammation in the body, which can help fight type 2 diabetes, a 2017 study out of the Technical University of Denmark found.
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People have also been found to eat less when they consume whole-grains because it causes satiety and can help in weight loss, the same study found.
Any type of bread that is made through fermentation using yeast and lactobacilli (naturally occurring bacteria) is a sourdough bread. That naturally occurring bacteria is what actually gives the bread its taste.
The nutrition found within the bread depends on the type of flour that was used to make it, Healthline explains – wholegrain versus refined.
READ MORE: 5 tasty foods that help fight inflammation
On average, however, its benefits resemble that of many other breads. But because of the fermentation process, the bread is considered to come with additional benefits.
For example, it makes it easier for your body to absorb the good amount of minerals like potassium, phosphate, magnesium and zinc – four nutrients often hindered by the presence of phytic acid in other breads (which is minimally present in sourdough bread), Healthline says.
Wholemeal is the British version of saying whole wheat, De Santis says.
Whole wheat, however, does not mean whole-grain. In Canada, whole wheat flour has some of the germ and bran removed (which contains nutrients and fibre), he adds.
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According to the Telegraph, one slice of wholemeal bread provides about 15 per cent of an adult’s daily recommended fibre intake.
A product that is labelled “rye bread” contains at last 20 per cent rye flour, which may or may not consisted of the whole rye grain, De Santis says.
Eating rye bread can make you feel more full, which is great if you’re looking to lose weight, Livestrong says. It can also help with managing blood sugar.
This is not an official designation used on Canadian food packages, De Santis says.
“GI is short for Glycemic index, a measure of how much and how rapidly a given food increases your blood sugar after you eat it,” he says. “Less refined usually means lower GI.”
And the winner is…
According to De Santis, the healthiest option is whole-grain bread.
“Because whole-grains have been very minimally refined and have not had any healthy components of the seed removed, they are the best for us,” he says. “If we look at the scientific research, we understand that those of us who eat whole-grains tend to be at a lower risk of a variety of chronic diseases.”
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READ MORE: 5 foods that help fight diarrhea – and 5 foods to stay away from
Whole-grains are high in B vitamins like niacin and thiamin, minerals like zinc and iron, protein and antioxidants like phytic acid and sulfur compounds, Healthline says.
This type of bread can also lower your risk of heart disease between 22 per cent and 47 per cent, depending on the amount you eat, according to several studies. Whole-grains also lowers the risk of stroke and helps with digestion.
Breads to avoid
If you want the maximum health benefit from your bread, stay clear of breads that have had much of the original grain removed during processing, De Santis says.
This includes white bread, which is considered the least useful to us.
“Although they have some nutrients added back after process (i.e. enriched), they are still lower in fibre, nutrients and other healthy compounds that are contained within the whole-grain,” he says.
And despite the negative reputation bread has in general, De Santis says he fails to see a “downside” to any type of bread.
“The only real drawback I can see of eating too much bread is eating too many calories in total – if you happen to be a bread lover – and missing out on the benefits of enjoying other healthy whole-grain foods like oats.”
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This blog was originally published on US News & World Report’s Eat + Run blog. See the original post here.
You may have seen recent stories with headlines like “White Bread Just as Healthy as Whole Wheat” and come away with the feeling that food choices are inconsequential. After all, what can you believe anymore after hearing your whole life that wheat bread is always a better choice than white? But in reality, the type of bread you eat (and the type of grains you choose, in general) can help you take great strides on your journey to health.
The most recent ﬂurry of contradictory headlines revolves around one 20-person study, which compared some eﬀects of eating whole-grain sourdough for one week to the eﬀects of eating processed white bread for a week. The authors didn’t ﬁnd any signiﬁcant diﬀerences after eating white bread versus whole-grain sourdough bread, and concluded that everyone needs their own personalized nutrition recommendations based on their unique gut microbes.
But this conclusion needs to be taken with a grain of salt – er, grain of wheat. For one, the researchers didn’t control for the other foods participants were eating. What’s more, they had ﬁnancial interests: The study was designed and written by paid consultants for DayTwo, a company selling personalized nutrition kits based on consumers’ gut microbiomes. It should surprise no one that they might design a study and interpret the results in a way that downplays the prevailing assumptions of healthy eating, and emphasizes the importance of personalized nutrition. How else would they be able to incentivize people to buy their $299 (or more) kits?
Granted, I too, have an interest in promoting whole grains: I work for Oldways Whole Grains Council, a nonproﬁt consumer advocacy group dedicated to increasing whole-grain consumption in the name of health. But I’m also a dietitian who believes in this mission because I know that larger, longer, and more responsibly-designed studies have demonstrated the wide-ranging beneﬁts of choosing whole grains over reﬁned grains.
In one study, for example, researchers randomly assigned 81 healthy adults to eat either whole grains or reﬁned grains for six weeks, keeping all other foods and nutrients consistent between the groups. Although both diets were designed to deliver an equal number of calories, those who ate whole grains signiﬁcantly revved up their metabolisms; over the six-week study, they burned 92 more calories per day than those in the reﬁned grain group – without exercising more. The whole grain group also had signiﬁcantly higher concentrations of “good” gut microbes, researchers found.
These results are not unique. Scientists in California found that people burned 50 percent more calories digesting a whole-grain sandwich with real cheese compared to a sandwich on white bread with a processed cheese product, even though both sandwiches had the same amount of calories and the same ratio of bread to cheese. Research in Europe has reached similar conclusions. Real, whole foods have real health advantages.
While the ingredients in your bread are important (whole-wheat ﬂour instead of white ﬂour, for instance), the way it’s made can also impact the overall healthfulness of the product. Researchers have found that sourdough bread has a gentler impact on your blood sugar than yeasted bread, makes some minerals and phytochemicals more bioavailable, and makes the grain’s ﬁber more accessible to your gut microbes. During the sourdough fermentation process, “good” bacteria are busily breaking down components in the grain, including gluten. This can make sourdough bread much easier for some people to digest, since there’s less work left for their own bodies to do.
Contrary to popular belief, nutrition experts do agree on what types of foods (and breads) are best for health. The perceived contradictions might make for juicy headlines, but in reality, nutrition research is not as muddled as many journalists lead readers to believe. In fact, to address this issue, Oldways gathered leading researchers across a wide spectrum of dietary philosophies (from paleo to vegan, from low fat to Mediterranean, and many more) to ﬁnd common ground on what constitutes a healthy diet. Not surprisingly, no one was singing the praises of reﬁned grains like white bread.
Kelly Toups, Director of Nutrition
Doing something different today, guys! Today we are talking food products, grocery shopping, healthier eating, and Target.
I love where this is going already.
A few disclaimers:
- This is a total nerd superfan (not sponsored or affiliated) post.
- In my little story in the text below where I talk a lil bit about going sugar free and how to grocery shop for that lifestyle, we have affiliate links to the program we participated in.
- While I bought all of these groceries at my SuperTarget (which just happens to literally be the first Target store of all time – I feel extra Target-Cool), keep in mind that the products that you find from store to store will probably vary depending on your location.
So I know it might sound a little weird, but friends, I adore grocery shopping at Target. And let me specify that to SuperTarget.
I grew up in a small Minnesota town that got a regular Target when I was, like, twelve, and it was the best day of my life. Eventually, I moved into the BIG CITY (ahem, suburb of Minneapolis) and I had at least 900 Targets within driving distance of my home. But even more importantly, I discovered this magic place called SuperTarget where you can buy everything you’d ever need in your whole life because it’s a regular Target with a Target grocery store inside of it. And usually a Starbucks. ♡♡♡ I am such a cliche right now.
After several years of grocery shopping at various stores throughout the Twin Cities, I’ve realized that, against all odds (or maybe after succumbing to the power that only Target can have?), SuperTarget is currently my go-to for groceries. In addition to having a soothing aesthetic and a huge selection of awesome products that are NEW and health-conscious and beautifully packaged because these are the things that make me smile, it’s often the place where I can get the best prices. Cartwheel app? REDcard? Yeah. You get it.
The thing about grocery shopping while trying to eat better is that IT IS HARD. I recently finished a 60-day refined sugar free challenge that a) was really awesome and feel-good, and b) made grocery shopping extremely challenging. We all know it, but the reality of practical grocery shopping when trying to eat better is rough — there is refined sugar in almost EVERYTHING on the shelves of the grocery store.
But there is still light! Over the last few months, I have found 24 healthy groceries at SuperTarget that fit with my 60-day refined sugar free challenge and that were totally delicious and awesome.
To see the groceries I love, scroll on! And to see the refined sugar free program we participated in, check out Go Sugar Free. Jacqueline is a great mentor and there is a spring session starting soon. Check it out or read about how Bjork and I took on the sugar free challenge and made it work for us in this post.
Onwards to food!
1. MaraNatha Almond Butter
Why I like it: If you’ve ever looked at the labels on peanut butters and beyond, you know how many nut butters in the world have added sugar. Enter MaraNatha and a handful of other brands which you can buy at SuperTarget – I’ve been buying MaraNatha for almost a year now because their both their Raw and Natural varieties of almond butter have no added sugar.
2. Simply Balanced Quinoa
Why I like it: My regular SuperTarget has many varieties of quinoa, but this one is usually the most affordable and the most “regular” – no pre-added flavors or quinoa-blend type things in the mix. Just straight up, uncooked, unflavored quinoa.
How I use it: Crockpot Quinoa Chicken Primavera, Herbed Quinoa Garden Veggie Salad, or Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Broccoli Casserole
3. Seeds of Change Quinoa and Brown Rice
Why I like it: Okay, now that I’ve sung the praises of the plain, uncooked quinoa, let’s move to the quickie quinoa and brown rice packet that is pre-cooked and garlic-loaded and secretly awesome. Seeds of Change: making weeknight home cooking realistic. Thumbs up for that!
How I use it: 10-Minute Veggie Fried Rice
4. Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
Why I like it: Lots of pre-made sauces are loaded with sugar and other unmentionables — which is why red curry paste is always always ALWAYS on my list of pantry staples. When you make your own curry halfway from scratch using a paste like this, you can control what actually ends up in your curry sauce (think ginger, garlic, and coconut milk).
How I use it: Red Curry Lentils AND the best ever Red Thai Curry Sauce. Get on it.
5. Curt’s Special Recipe Medium Salsa
Why I like it: Anyone else seen this around lately? Seems like I’m seeing it everywhere, which is awesome because it’s REALLY yummy with chips, veggies, enchiladas and tacos, just… everything. In the last year or so, I’ve just gone ahead and permanently added salsa to my grocery list because, I mean, SALSA. And out of all the brands I’ve sampled over the years, this one is the current winner.
6. Lundberg Organic Brown Basmati Rice
Why I like it: With the whole less-sugar-and-fewer-refined-grains thing, I’m trying to eat brown rice when I can, but the one rice that always gets me is Basmati rice. How do you even eat Indian food without that steaming pile of white Basmati rice? You don’t. Unlesssss you have THIS brown rice version of Basmati that they sell at my beloved SuperTarget which is delicious without sacrificing any of that perfectly fragrant Basmati essence. Annnnd I just said essence.
7. Simply Balanced Organic Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Why I like it: Okay, truth be told, my very first preference for whole wheat pasta would be DeLallo brand. But I’m still waiting for SuperTarget to stock DeLallo products (are you listening, Target?) so when I’m making a Target grocery run, I always pick up some of their Simply Balanced brand whole wheat pasta.
How I use it: Garlic Butter Spaghetti with Herbs and I feel happy about life.
8. San Marzano Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Why I like it: How to even express the love for these tomatoes? For some reason, I can’t find them at all grocery stores, but they are always at my ST. They work beautifully in just about any recipe that calls for canned tomatoes and their taste is the riches, juiciest, and most delicious of all the canned tomatoes.
How I use it: Simple San Marzano Pasta e Fagioli
9. Terra Medi Olive Oil
Why I like it: I’m not necessarily super picky when it comes to olive oil (I’m still developing my ultra food snob palate, okay?) but this is the brand of olive oil I’ve been buying lately. I use it in all my homemade dressings because IT JUST TASTES BEAUTIFUL. Like, really beautiful. Drizzled over everything. You’re welcome.
10. Silver Hills Sprouted Bakery Squirrelly Bread
Why I like it: With that whole fewer refined grains thing going on, I thought I’d see how this health nut bread performed as morning toast. And I’m happy to report it was my almond butter and banana’s perfect pair. This bread is two thumbs up, both in taste and in ingredients.
How I use it: Poached Egg and Avocado Toast magic.
11. Seven Sundays Muesli
Why I like it: No, for real, though – how much do I love this stuff?! It’s so seriously delicious AND it’s made by a Minnesota company! Represent. I’ve been eating the Ginger Pear Macadamia Nut muesli soaked in hot water and topped with sea salt, a spoonful of flax meal, and a tiny bit of maple syrup as my breakfast for a few months straight now and I’m still not sick of it. No refined sugar and full of wholesome things. It’s a happy breakfast!
12. Tazo Refresh Mint Tea
Why I like it: So I’ve been serving this as our post-dinner treat at my Dinner Club with all my friends, which is a little random, but you guys – it’s always a hit. It’s like people forget about how awesome peppermint tea is until they have it again and then – BOOM. We all sit around sipping our peppermint tea in a state of lovely zen. It’s the perfect cozy, calming, good-for-you, end-of-day treat.
13. Organic Coconut Oil
Why I like it: I’ve been buying and trying lots of brands and types of coconut oil over the last six months and still haven’t settled on one particular brand, so this isn’t necessarily the one I would recommend as the ultimate, but I just wanted to point out that you can buy coconut oil at Super Target.
How I use it: Favorite Coconut Oil Granola is in your future.
14. Bob’s Red Mill Whole Ground Flaxseed Meal
Why I like it: To add to smoothies, oatmeal, baked goods, sauces, and everything in between. I keep a bag of this in the fridge at all times and put a scoop in our green smoothies every morning because I really like the texture and also: all the nutrients.
How I use it: Oatmeal Flax Blueberry Muffins, anyone?
15. Kind Bars
Why I like it: I first got turned on to Kind bars when we did our 60-day sugar free experiment. Technically they have some sweeteners in them (think honey or maple syrup) – and since we started buying them, I’ve seen more varieties crop up that don’t necessarily hold to the original Kind 5 grams of sugar or less rule, but nevertheless, these have significantly less sugar and more good things going on than your average granola bar. These are a MUST in our house. My favorite is the Maple Glazed Pecan and Sea Salt.
If and when you want to find these in your SuperTarget — I don’t know why, but these are only stocked in the health foods section near the weight loss shakes and all of that, so don’t get sad if you don’t see them in your granola bar aisle. They are probably there, just hiding in amongst the health foods.
16. Lara Bars
Why I like it: Made with dates, nuts, and sea salt. So, so, so, so, so good for an on-the-go real food treat. For me, it’s usually second breakfast or dessert. I’m going to get bossy for a second here, but both Bjork and I agree that the Peanut Butter Cookie is by far the best – don’t even mess around with the other flavors.
Same health aisle location tip applies to these!
17. Bai5 Antioxidant Infusions
Why I like it: You already know how much I am loving this new line of drinks, right? What makes me love it even more is that they now sell this at my SuperTarget. I mean, come on. As if that isn’t the best news everrrr. I like the Molokai Coconut the best and it makes for the perfect addition to a green smoothie.
How I use it: Simple green smoothie. Also – I stocked up on the lemon lime a few weeks ago when I was sick and I was looking for a liquid diet that involved good things (antioxidants! hi) instead of refined sugar. Perfect!
18. Somersaults Pacific Sea Salt
Why I like it: This is a really random snack that I tried on a whim on one of my grocery trips scouring the store for healthier munchies – and guess what? Delicious. They’re made with all natural, good and wholesome ingredients and they are SALTY and ultra-crunchy. ♡
19. Wonderful Roasted and Salted Pistachios
Why I like it: I’ve been having a moment with pistachios lately. They are really, really good and I think I sort of just forgot about them for a few years. I wanted to mention them because unlike most of the other grocery stores I frequent, SuperTarget sells these big bags of pistachios that are shelled. Meaning you can use them in recipes or for snacks without needing to break all those shells off first. Thank you, SuperTaret, for making the good things in life (pistachios!) more simple!
20. Boom Chicka Pop Sea Salt Popcorn
Why I like it: On the one hand, this is totally ridiculous. Why would you buy pre-popped popcorn when you can make it in your own microwave? Mostly because it’s really good and it makes for the best lil’ Friday night snack when sipping on Grapefruit Mojitos and watching The Vow with your sisters and mom. Just saying.
21. Dreaming Cow Honey Pear Yogurt
Why I like it: This yogurt! This yogurt. This yogurt is so super good. It’s creamy and rich but much smoother and a lot less gloppy than most of our other usual yogurts. The flavors are delicious and unique. My favorites are the Honey Pear and the Blueberry Cardamom. Grass-Fed Cream Top Yogurt at SuperTarget?! What is this world coming to.
22. Horizon Organic Half and Half
Why I like it: As a more whole, refined sugar free swap for flavored coffee creamer, which I have been known to drink straight from the bottle, we’ve been buying organic full fat dairy for coffee in the morning. It’s the perfect match for my super strong Starbucks Espresso blend and it’s also really good in recipes. So long, Candy Bar Coffee Creamer in a bottle! I can and do love my coffee without you.
23. Amy’s Organic Mexican Casserole Bowls
Why I like it: We don’t do a lot of frozen meals, but we do a lot of Amy’s. So maybe we do do a lot of frozen meals. Amy’s is a lifesaver. As a food blogger, you’d think that I would love cooking all the time 24/7 forever, but that would be wrong. Sometimes all I want to do is pop something in the oven or microwave that will give me a yummy real food meal super fast without any work on my end. This is that! And this variety – the Mexican casserole bowl – is THE BEST. Perfect with chips and salsa (see #5).
24. Simply Balanced Frozen Organic Fruit
Why I like it: Confession: I’ve been a frozen fruit hog lately, which miiight be why all the Simply Balanced organic frozen fruit shelves at my SuperTarget are empty? I dunno anything about that tho. We use frozen fruit for green smoothies every morning – my favorites are peaches and mangoes, and Bjork’s all about the berries. And I just love that the in-store brand at SuperTarget (Simply Balanced, formerly known as Archer Farms) packages ORGANIC frozen fruit. Thank you thank you thank you!
How I use it: Simple Coconut Green Smoothie – I’m telling you, it’s a must for healthier, fruit-and-veggie-loaded mornings.
So that’s it! Those are the 24 healthy groceries that I buy at SuperTarget and that I really think you will love.
If you’re looking for more interesting and helpful information about grocery shopping at some of the hot spots, check out these fun posts from my sweet food blogging friends around the blogosphere.
What to Buy at Aldi from Gimme Some Oven
8 Ways to Save Money at Whole Foods from 100 Days of Real Food
29 Healthy Things to Buy at Trader Joe’s from Ambitious Kitchen
In a perfect turn of events, I’m literally off to Target this morning to refill on groceries after traveling for ten days. AND I CAN’T WAIT.
I would love to hear from you all around the US and beyond – where do you grocery shop? any tips?
19 Delicious Vegan Products at Target
Published January 14, 2019 by PETA. Last Updated October 21, 2019.
Target’s grocery section hits the mark when it comes to tasty vegan options. The retail chain carries cruelty-free products from vegan companies such as Beyond Meat and Gardein as well as its own health-conscious Simply Balanced line—which includes everything from smoky chipotle vegan chicken to sorbet.
Next time you head to Target, look for these great vegan products, available at locations nationwide:
1. Gardein Seven Grain Crispy Tenders
Target carries a variety of deliciously vegan Gardein products, including Classic Meatless Meatballs, The Ultimate Beefless Ground, Home Style Meatless Meatloaf, Lightly Seasoned Chick’n Scallopini, Mandarin Orange Crispy Chick’n, and Crispy Chick’n Sliders.
2. Beyond Burger
We love Beyond Meat’s vegan burger made from pea protein.
3. Sweet Earth Benevolent Bacon
Get your breakfast on with this vegan bacon that packs 10 grams of protein per serving.
4. Simply Balanced Spicy Vegan Bean Chili
Made with a mix of garbanzo, kidney, and black beans as well as fire-roasted green peppers and jalapeños, this chili is the real deal.
5. Sweet Earth World Entrees
Featuring fresh ingredients and vegetables, five of Sweet Earth’s bowls are completely vegan: the Black Bean & Mango Cubano, the Curry Tiger, General Tso’s Tofu, the Moroccan Tagine, and the Kyoto Stir Fry.
6. Amy’s Light & Lean Spaghetti Italiano with Meatless Meatballs
Amy’s is our go-to brand for quick and tasty vegan dinners such as this spaghetti as well as vegan pot pie, bowls, burritos, soups, and more.
7. Sweet Earth The Curry Tiger Burrito
There are no GMOs in this awesome vegan burrito, but there are yummy lentils and curried seitan. Sweet Earth also offers The Kyoto, The Anasazi, and the Big Sur Breakfast burritos.
8. Van’s Wheat Gluten Free Waffles
Sweetened with fruit juice, this quick, toaster-friendly waffle is for the breakfast-on-the-go types.
9. Starbucks Bottled Frappuccino Chilled Coffee Drinks with Almondmilk (in Mocha or Vanilla Flavors)
10. Kite Hill Caramel Artisan Almond Milk Yogurt
Kite Hill’s caramel flavored yogurt is available in 80 Target stores across the country, so be sure to check your local store for availability.
11. LÄRABAR Original Fruit & Nut Food Bar
LÄRABAR’s fruit and nut food bars are vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO. Target carries value packs, so you can stock up!
12. Sabra Hummus
Sabra hummus comes in many delicious varieties, including Classic, Roasted Garlic, Greek Olive, and Roasted Red Pepper.
13. Dang Toasted Coconut Chips
When we first discovered these, we weren’t sure what to expect, but now we know they’re dang good!
14. Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
We can’t be healthy all the time, but we can always be compassionate, thanks to Target’s vegan sweet tooth.
15. Lotus Biscoff & Go Cookie Butter and Breadsticks
This brand, which you may recognize from your last airline flight, now offers handy snack packs featuring a tempting cookie butter for dipping. They’re a perfect quick treat while you’re on the go.
16. Archer Farms Nondairy Frozen Desserts
Target’s very own Archer Farms now offers vegan ice cream. Flavors include Vanilla Cake & Cookie Dough, Caramel Brownie, Cashew Caramel, Strawberry & Fudge, Vanilla Bean, Peanut Butter & Chocolate, and Mocha Almond Fudge.
17. Simply Balanced Raspberry Sorbet
Sorbet flavors include lemon, tart cherry, raspberry, and mango. We’ll take one of each, please.
18. So Delicious Coconut Milk Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert
So Delicious offers a ton of ice cream flavors—and fudge bars, too.
19. Häagen-Dazs Nondairy Frozen Dessert Bars
Target offers Häagen-Dazs frozen dessert bars in Chocolate Fudge.
Don’t forget, Target also carries a hefty selection of cruelty-free vegan beauty products. to see our favorites!
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12 Healthy Foods From Target That You Should Stock In Your Fridge Or Pantry
Some days you take the time to make yourself a healthy, nourishing meal. Other days, you eat ice cream for breakfast and lunch because it’s the only thing you have in the house besides a bag of frozen peas and a jar of pickles. To ensure that those less than nutritious days are few and far between, it’s important to have some key good-for-you items stocked in your fridge or pantry. Luckily, there are lots of healthy foods to be found at Target, the mecca for, well, everything. As if you needed another reason to spend hours there.
By keeping some nutritional foods on hand, you give yourself a leg-up when it comes to making meals that are not only good for you, but are easy to make, and taste good, too. It’s just easier to make wiser eating choices when you have the proper ingredients readily available — aka no more excuses for ordering in or not eating at all because you have “no food at home.”
But what exactly are the appropriate healthy kitchen staples? To get as accurate of a grocery list as possible, TZR spoke to four experts and asked them to reveal the items they always keep stocked in their fridges. And with snacks like coconut yogurt and mango slices making the list, it’s safe to say the options are not only edible, but pretty delicious. Add these to your grocery list immediately.
“I use this as a replacement for cow’s milk yogurt,” says Jodi Moreno, natural foods chef, author, and recipe developer behind the award-winning blog What’s Cooking Good Looking. “Because most store-bought coconut yogurts have a noticeable coconut flavor, they are best used in dishes that are sweet.”
Dried Mango Slices
“I love mangoes, but I don’t love waiting until they are ripe and slicing them up,” says NYC-based Registered Dietitian, Natalie Rizzo, MS, RD. “Instead, I always have these dried mango slices in my pantry for when my mango cravings strike. These are just dried fruit, and they are the perfect fuel for my early morning running.”
“I feel like I can make a meal if I have black beans in my cupboard,” says Rizzo. “This versatile bean serves as the protein in many of my meals because it pairs so well with grains, like quinoa, brown rice or a whole wheat tortilla. I combine them with my favorite veggies, cheese and some hot sauce and you’ve got a quick Mexican meal that comes together in no time. Plus, half a cup has about 100 calories, 7 grams of protein and 15 percent your daily value of iron.”
“This clarified butter is great for sautéing over high heat because of its high smoke points (the temperature at which the oil begins to burn giving food a burned flavor and losing nutritional benefits),” says Moreno. “It also adds a lovely richness and subtle nutty flavor.”
“As a girl who grew up in an Italian-American family, I love my farro,” says Rizzo. “It’s an ancient grain, which is used as the base for many Italian dishes, like soups, stews, and grain salads. It’s hearty and chewy with a nutty flavor, so it’s great as the whole grain base for any dish. And a quarter cup has seven grams of protein, which is ideal for those who don’t eat meat.”
“Who doesn’t love almond butter? We mix it in smoothies and use it to whip up baked treats,” say Karena Dawn and Katrina Scott, founders of Tone It Up. “These Blondies Muffins with almond butter and chickpeas are incredible! Chickpeas are another of our staples too!”
“The one exception I make for soy is miso, because the fermentation process results in a much friendlier form of soy, meaning it’s less allergenic and has more beneficial amino acids,” says Moreno. “I like to keep multiple flavors of miso on hand because I use it so often. Sweet miso and red barley miso are my two staples, and would be a good place to start before adding in others as you get more excited about using miso. Of course, if you are avoiding soy altogether, you will want to seek out a soy-free miso such as chickpea.”
Natural Peanut Butter
“Out of all the fancy brands of peanut butter at the supermarket, this simple one is my favorite,” says Rizzo. “It’s just ground peanuts and salt, so it tastes really delicious and fresh. And since it’s a brand you can find everywhere, it’s really economical, which is why I always have a few jars on hand.”
“The ultimate pantry staple,” say Dawn and Scott. “It’s so easy to mix quinoa with your favorite lean protein and veggies for a quick lean bowl. That’s our go-to dinner after a busy day at the office or filming workouts.”
Frozen Veggies (And Some Fruit)
“A variety of frozen berries and veggies can be found in my freezer because they last a long time,” says Moreno. “And I always have something to add to smoothies, baked fruit dishes, or a veggie stir fry.”
“Coconut oil has so many amazing benefits — it boosts your heart health, keeps you feeling lean, and makes your skin glow,” say Dawn and Scott. “We cook with it and even use it as a lotion on our skin.”
“Lentils have a nice bite, so they can serve as the grain and protein in most of your dishes,” says Rizzo. “Lentils make a great substitute in dishes that would usually contain meat, like meatballs, lasagna, tacos or buyers. And just one cup cooked has 18 grams of protein, in addition to iron, folate, and fiber.”
Ward offers this checklist for making healthier food choices in every department of your supermarket:
- Produce. Spend the most time in the produce section, the first area you encounter in most grocery stores (and usually the largest). Choose a rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables. The colors reflect the different vitamin, mineral, and phytonutrient content of each fruit or vegetable.
- Breads, Cereals, and Pasta. Choose the least processed foods that are made from whole grains. For example, regular oatmeal is preferable to instant oatmeal. But even instant oatmeal is a whole grain, and a good choice.
When choosing whole-grain cereals, aim for at least 4 grams of fiber per serving, and the less sugar, the better. Keep in mind that 1 level teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams and let this guide your selections. Ward points out that cereals — even those with added sugar — make great vehicles for milk, yogurt, and/or fruit. Avoid granolas, even the low-fat variety; they tend to have more fat and sugar than other cereals.
Bread, pasta, rice, and grains offer more opportunities to work whole grains into your diet. Choose whole-wheat bread and pastas, brown rice, grain mixes, quinoa, bulgur, and barley. To help your family get used to whole grains, you can start out with whole-wheat blends and slowly transition to 100% whole-wheat pasta and breads.
- Meat, Fish, and Poultry. The American Heart Association recommends two servings of fish a week. Ward recommends salmon because people often like it, and it’s widely available, affordable, not too fishy, and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Be sure to choose lean cuts of meat (like round, top sirloin, and tenderloin), opt for skinless poultry, and watch your portion sizes.
- Dairy. Dairy foods are an excellent source of bone-building calcium and vitamin D. There are plenty of low-fat and nonfat options to help you get three servings a day, including drinkable and single-serve tube yogurts, and pre-portioned cheeses. If you enjoy higher-fat cheeses, no problem — just keep your portions small.
- Frozen Foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables (without sauce) are a convenient way to help fill in the produce gap, especially in winter. Some of Ward’s frozen favorites include whole-grain waffles for snacks or meals, portion-controlled bagels, 100% juices for marinades and beverages, and plain cheese pizza that she jazzes up with an extra dose of skim mozzarella cheese and a variety of veggies.
- Canned and Dried Foods. Keep a variety of canned vegetables, fruits, and beans on hand to toss into soups, salads, pasta, or rice dishes. Whenever possible, choose vegetables without added salt, and fruit packed in juice. Tuna packed in water, low-fat soups, nut butters, olive and canola oils, and assorted vinegars should be in every healthy pantry.
1. YOLO food – from $8/meal
Image credit: @thesmartlocalsg
You only live once, that’s why it’s so important to ensure we keep ourselves strong and healthy. YOLO aims to help you do just that. Meals (from $8/bento) are highly personalised – your age, height, weight, gender and daily level of activity are recorded to generate a recommended calorie intake target. Choose from different daily combos in your calorie intake group and ta-da, you’re all set for a day of guilt-free eating.
Even if you are super Asian and can’t live without rice and spice, YOLO has got your back. Basil minced chicken, Asian greens, and brown rice are all part of their menu.
Delivery timings: 11AM – 9PM
Delivery fee: Varies according to delivery service
Telephone: 6221 3029
2. Fitnessration – from $9.40/meal
Image credit: @fitnessration
Fitnessration has it all planned out for you. Whether you’re a gym junkie looking to bulk, looking to lose some weight, or simply want a clean meal, they’ve got a special category of dishes specially customised for you. Choosing the High Protein Active category would let you enjoy meals such as Beef Ribeye Meatballs and Citrus and Chilli Grilled Dory.
Meals come in a bundle of 5, 10, or 15, and the bundles of 10 and 15 come with free delivery starting from $9.40/meal.
Delivery timings: 9AM – 9PM | 2PM – 5PM | 6PM – 9PM
Delivery fee: Free for every purchase of bundle of 10 and 15. $15 delivery fee for bundle of 5
Telephone: 8748 2585
3. Grain – from $9.50/meal
Image credit: Grain
Grain debunks the myth that eating healthy is oh so boring. There will always be new items on the menu, especially with Grain adding one new highlight dish each week. Sides, desserts and drinks are also available for your choosing, especially if you’re one of those whose stomach is like a bottomless pit. Their desserts like Raspberry Frangipane ($5.95) are low in calories as well, so don’t worry about breaking your healthy streak.
P.S.: Loyal fans of Grain are rewarded with special discounts! For example, an accumulation of 3 orders would entitle you to $2 off your next one.
4. AMGD – from $12.50/meal
Image credit: @amgd.sg
If keeping fit was on your new year’s resolution list, thank your lucky stars for AMGD, because they’ll make your life a whole lot easier. Choose from a wide variety of the superfoods such as their Triple Fix (quinoa topped with cajun chicken and greens) and Memory (Teriyaki Baked Salmon with mixed greens and nuts).
The meals at AMGD are all low in calories, so you’ll be “forced” to eat healthy when you order from them. You can purchase up to 50 meal credits ($12.50/meal) to use within 90 days – the more credits you buy, the cheaper your meal gets.
Delivery timings: 10.30AM – 1.30PM | 4.30PM – 7.30PM
Delivery fee: Free
5. Primal Meal Prep – from $10.90/meal
UPDATE: Primal Meal Prep has since ceased operations
Image credit: @primalmealprep
Primal Meal Prep provides you with the ultimate customisable healthy eating experience. You’ll get a say in every component of the meal – from the protein, to carbs, and veggies. To ensure you get the best meal suited to your needs, you’ll have to enter your age, height, weight, activity level and whether you want to lose, maintain or gain weight. The amount of carbs, protein and fat you should be consuming in a day will be calculated to plan your meal better.
Delivery timings: 10AM – 1PM | 7PM – 10PM
Delivery fee: Free delivery for orders above $150. $3.90 per drop off for orders between $100-$149.99. $5.90 per drop off for all other orders.
Telephone: 9810 5549
6. Eat Healthy – from $6.99/meal
Image credit: Eat Healthy
Pretty sure we’ve all heard someone say that in Singapore, there’s no way cheap food is going to be healthy. Wrong! Eat Healthy has meals starting from just $6.99, all of which don’t contain MSG or preservatives. They’ve even partnered with a nutritionist to ensure their meals are well-balanced, so you can be sure they know their stuff. Plus, Eat Healthy is Halal certified, so everyone can enjoy cheap and healthy meals.
Tuck into their in their Beef Meatball Bolognese Linguine ($6.99), you won’t be disappointed with the moist and flavourful handmade meatballs. If you need a midday perk-me-up snack, go for their Large Oatmeal Cookie ($1.99).
Note: Meals are refrigerated when sent to you, so you’ll have to heat them up on your own!
Delivery timings: 10AM – 5PM | 5PM – 9PM
Delivery fee: Varies depending on timing
Contact: Click here to send a message to eat healthy
7. Spinacas – from $9/meal
Image credit: @spinacas
Juicy meats and incredible texture – not something you’d normally expect to find in a salad. Seems like the salads at Spinacas are an exception. Their meats, bentos, and salads have been kept nutritious and well-balanced, yet highly raved for how well-marinated and flavourful they are. Try out their Moroccan Spiced Chicken Salad ($9), a crowd favourite.
Delivery timings: 11AM – 12PM | 12PM – 1PM | 5PM – 6PM |
Delivery fee: Free, minimum order $25. Click here to see if Spinacas delivers to you.
Telephone: 9770 7039
8. Fitthree – from $12.90/meal
Image credit: @buro247singapore
We all know the benefits of eating clean: fit bod, healthy guts. And Fitthree is giving you one more incentive to stick to a healthy meal plan – their meal pick up spots are located at popular gyms, providing you a convenient way to eat healthy before or after a good workout. Pick from Omnitarian, Low-Carb and Vegetarian categories for up to 5 days worth of meals at $12.90/meal.
Delivery timings: 9AM – 12PM
Delivery fee: Free pick up at stipulated spots, delivery direct to you at $6.90 on Mondays or Thursdays and $10.90 for both days.
Email: [email protected]
BONUS: Xndo – from $6.64/meal
Image credit: @reginacharrise
Healthy microwavable food sure seems like an oxymoron, but not with the meals from Xndo. Regardless of your dietary requirements, you’ll find a meal suited to your needs – whether you’re watching your weight or even a diabetic. Just pop it into the microwave for 1-2 minutes, and you’re good to go. Enjoy local favourites such as Curry Chicken Noodle and Bak Kut Teh Chicken Rice from $6.64/meal when you purchase a bundle of 3.
Drop by one of their stores, or send them a message here.
Cheap and healthy meals delivered to you
Let’s face it, not many of us are disciplined enough to stick to our healthy eating regime. We all need a little help with resisting the temptation to dial the hotline of our favourite fast food restaurants, or to cave in to our cravings for some good ol’ Hokkien Mee. The grub from these companies will not only save you time, but your health as well.
7 Simple Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget in Singapore
I’ve never thought Singaporeans looked particularly unhealthy. After all, most people seem to be on the lean side, and many are positively twig-like.
But as it turns out, despite the fact that our BMIs are a fraction of those in the American Midwest, we’re not in such fantastic health either. We’re the 2nd in the world in terms of proportion of diabetics.
Still, most people continue devouring their MSG-laden cai png and their coconut-milk soaked nasi lemak, simply because eating healthily in Singapore has the reputation of being expensive.
Never fear. Here are 7 tips for eating healthily without going broke.
Bring your own water bottle / thermos flask
Singaporeans love their milo peng and kopi. But a great many beverages, whether they be sodas, juices, coffee or tea, contain huge amounts of sugar.
Simply asking only for water or, in the case of hawker centre / food court meals, bringing your own water bottle, can reduce your sugar intake dramatically.
If you don’t like drinking water but have to have a hot drink with every meal, consider bringing along a thermos flask or mug every time you go out to eat. Pop in a teabag and add hot water before you go.
Carry healthy snacks in your bag
Each time I’m feeling peckish when I’m out and about, I buy a curry puff from Old Chang Kee. Other people make a beeline for the nearest froyo stall, or pick up a Kit Kat bar at 7-Eleven.
To avoid turning to junk food each time your stomach rumbles outside of mealtimes, always carry some healthy snacks in your bag. A banana in a ziplock bag or a packet of unsalted almonds works great. These snacks can also help you to tahan until you get home to eat, instead of caving in and eating out.
Invest in a slow cooker
If you think preparing your own meals every day is daunting or takes a long time, these 2 kitchen appliances will change your life: a slow cooker and an air fryer.
A slow cooker is the ultimate time saver. All you have to do is chop up the ingredients, toss them in the machine and turn it on. Come back hours later and your meal is ready. Busy professionals can even activate the slow cooker before leaving for work, and then eat the minute they arrive at home.
… and an air fryer, for that matter
An air fryer is another winner, because it lets you enjoy tasty “fried” stuff without the accompanying calories. Most people use their air fryers to heat stuff like frozen nuggets and breaded chicken wings, which, needless to say, are not very healthy.
But you can totally skip those processed fried things and opt to air fry fresh ingredients instead. Try air frying hardy vegetables like broccoli, carrot and potato. Fresh fish and tofu are other healthy items that crisp up really well in the air fryer.
Plan your meals meticulously
If, like many Singaporeans, you avoid cooking at home because it seems too arduous, know that no amount of yong tau foo and fish soup is going to turn your diet into a healthy one.
The secret to making cooking at home easy, fast and pain-free is to plan your meals meticulously. Make a list detailing exactly what you plan to cook that week and what you need to buy, and then make a beeline for those items on your list when you grocery shop, instead of wandering aimlessly through the aisles.
This also helps you avoid wasting food because it sat in your fridge for too long, so you save even more money.
Rethink your grocery list
Let’s say you already make most of your meals at home and are wondering how you can push yourself to eat even more healthily and spend even less. Well, there are some modifications you can make to your weekly grocery list that will make you healthier and richer.
If you are eating meat every day, reducing your meat consumption to just once a week will dramatically lower your grocery bill and also benefit your health if you’re replacing all that meat with fruit and vegetables. You can also reduce costs further by buying less expensive cuts of meat when you’re feeling carnivorous.
Cutting down on processed food, including pre-made sauces, frozen pizza and junk food will not only benefit your wallet, as these foods tend to be relatively costly, but also your health, as they usually contain a ton of salt, sugar and preservatives.
Freeze food if you can’t finish it
Fresh food goes bad very quickly in Singapore’s hot and humid climate, even when it’s in the fridge. That not only discourages you from eating at home, but also results in lots of wastage when you’re forced to throw away those expensive Japanese-imported strawberries.
Get into the habit of freezing food that you can’t finish. With the help of ziplock bags or plastic wrap, you can freeze fruit, vegetables and meat. You can even attempt freezable recipes that you simply pop into the microwave when you’re ready to eat.
How do you eat healthily without breaking the bank? Share your tips in the comments!
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Tags: Budgeting, Dining, Fitness & Beauty
The Top 10 Healthy Foods to Always Have On Your Grocery List
Photo: George Rudy /
The first step to meal-prep success: getting your hands on the right ingredients. Our ultimate healthy grocery list is like your treasure map, guiding you to the healthy food so that you fill your cart with the building blocks for endless healthy meals. Plus, having a plan will fast-track your shopping trip.
Your Complete Healthy Food List
Before you head to the store, take inventory of your cabinets and then make your own shopping list to fill in the holes. By investing a little shopping time upfront, you’ll help eliminate the two biggest hurdles to healthy cooking-not having enough time and not having the right ingredients, says Samantha Lynch, R.D., who designed the healthy food supermarket list. (Related: How to Meal Prep Mediterranean Lunches in 3 Easy Steps)
Be sure to include all of our top 10 healthy food picks below, then supplement with additional items and favorites from the grocery game plan (save it to your phone or download below). Once you’ve got all your goods, check out our genius meal-planning ideas and get cooking!
Healthy Food #1: Lemons
- Just one lemon has more than 100 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C, which may help increase “good” HDL cholesterol levels and strengthen bones. (Did you know vitamin C has healthy skin benefits, too?)
- Citrus flavonoids found in lemons may help inhibit the growth of cancer cells and act as an anti-inflammatory.
Healthy eating tip: Add a slice of lemon to your green tea. One study found that citrus increases your body’s ability to absorb the antioxidants in the tea by about 80 percent.
Healthy Food #2: Broccoli
- One medium stalk of broccoli contains more than 100 percent of your daily vitamin K requirement and almost 200 percent of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C-two essential bone-building nutrients.
- The same serving also helps stave off numerous cancers.
Healthy eating tip: Zap it! Preserve up to 90 percent of broccoli’s vitamin C by microwaving. Steaming or boiling holds on to just 66 percent of the nutrient. (Learn more: How to Get the Most Nutrients Out of Your Food)
Healthy Food #3: Dark Chocolate
- Just one-fourth of an ounce daily can reduce blood pressure in otherwise healthy individuals.
- Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, antioxidants shown to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL levels. (DYK that flavonoids are a type of phytonutrient? Learn more about these powerhouses everyone keeps talking about.)
Healthy eating tip: A dark chocolate bar contains about 53.5 milligrams of flavonoids; a milk chocolate bar has fewer than 14.
Healthy Food #4: Potatoes
- One red potato contains 66 micrograms of cell-building folate-about the same amount found in one cup of spinach or broccoli.
- One sweet potato has almost eight times the amount of cancer-fighting and immune-boosting vitamin A you need daily.
Healthy eating tip: Let your potato cool before eating. Research shows that doing so can help you burn close to 25 percent more fat after a meal, thanks to a fat-resistant starch in this healthy food.
Healthy Food #5: Salmon
- A great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to a reduced risk of depression, heart disease, and cancer.
- A 3-ounce serving contains almost 50 percent of your daily dose of niacin, which may protect against Alzheimer’s disease and memory loss.
Healthy eating tip: Opt for wild over farm-raised, which contains 16 times as much toxic polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) as wild salmon.
Healthy Food #6: Walnuts
- Contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which may help reduce cholesterol, of all nuts.
- Omega-3s have been shown to improve mood and fight cancer; they may protect against sun damage, too (but don’t skip the SPF).
Healthy eating tip: Eat a few for dessert: The antioxidant melatonin, found in walnuts, helps to regulate sleep. (Related: The 10 Healthiest Nuts and Seeds)
Healthy Food #7: Avocados
- Rich in healthy, satisfying fats proven in one study to lower cholesterol by about 22 percent.
- One has more than half the fiber and 40 percent of the folate you need daily, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
Healthy eating tip: Adding it to your salad (we’re obsessed with this avocado-kale salad recipe) can increase the absorption of key nutrients like beta-carotene by three to five times compared with salads without this healthy food.
Healthy Food #8: Garlic
- Garlic is a powerful disease fighter that can inhibit the growth of bacteria, including E. coli.
- Allicin, a compound found in garlic, works as a potent anti-inflammatory and has been shown to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure levels.
Healthy eating tip: Crushed fresh garlic releases the most allicin. Just don’t overcook; garlic exposed to high heat for more than 10 minutes loses important nutrients.
Healthy Food #9: Spinach
- Spinach contains lutein and zeaxanthin, two immune-boosting antioxidants important for eye health.
- Recent research found that among cancer-fighting fruits and veggies, spinach is one of the most effective.
Healthy eating tip: Spinach is a healthy and flavorless addition to any smoothie. You won’t taste it, we promise! Try blending 1 cup spinach, 1 cup grated carrots, 1 banana, 1 cup apple juice, and ice. (Related: 10 Green Smoothies We Guarantee You’ll Love)
Healthy Food #10: Beans
- Eating a serving of legumes (beans, peas, and lentils) four times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by 22 percent.
- That same healthy food habit may also reduce your risk of breast cancer.
Healthy eating tip: The darker the bean, the more antioxidants it contains. One study found that black bean hulls contain 40 times the amount of antioxidants found in white bean hulls.
Check out the printable shopping list that has even more healthy food choices.
- By By Samantha Lynch, R.D. and the editors of Shape.com
10 Healthy Foods to Buy Now
Ready to hit the refresh button? Me too. But not with a cleanse, detox or new diet – because none of those things work.
What’s always worked for me is thinking about what I can have and what I do get to eat when I’m getting back on track with a wholesome eating routine. Instead of feeling deprived, I feel inspired and excited by my day-to-day eats.
So here are 10 unique, healthy and sustainably-produced foods to add to your shopping list as you start this new year.
10 Healthy Foods to Buy in 2017
Mary’s Gone Crackers. Probably the least-processed, highest quality cracker you can buy. Add cheese or hummus and eat alongside fresh veggies & fruits for a quick and healthy lunch or even dinner.
Plain whole milk yogurt. A few months ago I stopped buying flavored yogurt altogether. It took my kids 2-3 days to adjust, but now we all enjoy it as much as the sweeter kinds. Look for plain yogurt (bonus points for organic grass-fed) that has nothing added beyond milk and live cultures. Low-fat and nonfat are OK too, but I find whole satisfies me for much longer so I eat less in the end.
Dry beans. Nothing gives you more bang for your buck than a bag of dry beans. One cooked batch can yield several days worth of meals, and is a great way to avoid BPA exposure from cans. Here are some tips and recipe ideas.
Heavenly Organics honey. No other honey is as pure, the method used for collecting is non-invasive and preserves bee habitats, and the company employs men in the Himalayas who have few other employment options beyond terrorism. Heavenly is right.
Back to the Roots cereals. Most breakfast cereals are highly processed and contain many ingredients, but not Back to the Roots. This 3-ingredient cereal is as pure as it gets, tastes great, is sourced directly from biodynamic farms.
Kombucha. Like other naturally-fermented foods, kombucha contains good bacteria and promotes good digestion, among other benefits. Here are my tips for finding a brand you can trust, since not all kombucha is created equal. (Disclaimer: I work for Health-Ade, so I obviously think it’s the best!)
Crunchamame edamame snacks. Keep these stashed in your purse, car or office drawer for whenever you have a salty snack craving. They taste amazing but are a whole, real food that’s high in fiber and protein.
Pasture Butter. If you’re going to eat butter, this is (literally) the cream of the crop. The milk for this butter comes from cows that were exclusively grass-fed on Organic Valley farms, where the land and animals are well-treated and the farms promote a healthy environment. More on grass-fed dairy here.
Klio tea. Better than green tea when it comes to taste (the flavor is softer and sweeter) and immune-boosting function. And it’s been shown to reduce inflammation and improve digestion. And it’s both completely unprocessed and caffeine free. What’s not to love? More on Klio here.
Bulk items. Two of the best things we can do for our health and our planet are to reduce packaging and reduce food waste. The bulk bins allow you to do both. Bring your own reusable cloth bulk bin bags and buy the exact amount you need. You’ll save money and feel efficient. See #8 on this list for my fave bulk bags.
Grocery shopping can be a pain — and not to mention, overwhelming. Each aisle of the grocery store contains hundreds of items that you have to scan through, and it’s not always clear which ones are the best for you.
That’s because your list should primarily consist of whole foods, rather than ones that come pre-packaged in a box. But sometimes even the healthiest options come with complex labels, so to make things easier, we talked to Brian St. Pierre, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., director of performance nutrition at Precision Nutrition, for his take on what you should pick up when you’re not sure what to throw in your cart.
Remember, these are just suggestions, so use this guide as a template. Stick to the type (and amount) of food you’ll actually eat and need. That means if you hate spinach, choose another leafy green you like instead. If you live alone, stock up on enough food to get you through the week to minimize the risk of fresh produce going bad. (For a more in-depth nutrition plan designed to burn fat and build muscle, check out the Metashred Diet from Men’s Health.)
That said, if you always find yourself wandering down the chip aisle, keep this healthy grocery list handy next time you go on a food run.
Protein is essential. It helps you build and maintain hard muscle. St. Pierre suggests stocking up with a wide variety of foods, so you don’t get sick of eating the same thing. You should strive for about 30 grams of protein at each meal.
FISH: Salmon, rainbow trout, and Atlantic mackerel are probably the best choices because they’re low in mercury, but are still high in omega-3 fats, which can help lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Mussels, oysters, scallops, and shrimp are also lean, rich in protein, and a nice way to switch things up. Try Wild Planet Wild Sockeye Salmon.
CHICKEN & TURKEY: Chicken and turkey breast are fantastic, since they are both super lean. Of course, chicken and turkey thighs can also be worked in, since they can be cheaper and provide more flavor. Try Perdue Harvestland Organic Chicken Breast and Organic Prairie Roast Turkey Breast Slices.
EGGS: These guys are a nutrient powerhouse, providing an array of vitamins and minerals in addition to their high-quality protein (about 6 grams per egg). Don’t ditch the yolk, either. They’ve got omega-3s, vitamin D, vitamin B12, choline (to power your brain), and selenium (to boost your immune system). We like these from Organic Valley.
MILK: Milk, and dairy in general, provides a convenient source of high-quality protein along with a nice dose of calcium and potassium.
Related: 6 Protein Myths That Are Messing With Your Diet
When it comes to vegetables, the goal is to “eat the rainbow,” St. Pierre says. The disease-fighting benefits of vegetables stem from their concentration of phytonutrients, the chemicals that give them their array of colors. Aim for at least three servings per day, ideally more.
LEAFY GREENS: Salads are a great way to eat lots of vegetables at once, but you need a go-to base. You can’t really go wrong with dark leafy greens, but spinach, romaine, and kale are all great options. Toss them into your pasta, omelettes, and smoothies, too.
PEPPERS: Red, orange, and yellow peppers are not only bursting with flavor, they also offer tons of vitamin C, which helps keep your immune system, heart, and skin healthy.
BROCCOLI OR CAULIFLOWER: These cruciferous vegetables are an easy way to bulk up a meal with vegetables. Roast ’em up and eat them with your steak and potatoes, toss them in a salad, or chop them up and sauté into your pasta sauce. Bonus: Research shows that people who eat more cruciferous vegetables have a lower risk of prostate, lung, and colon cancer, says the National Cancer Institute.
CARROTS: Thanks to their amount of beta carotene (the pigment that gives carrots their bright hue), carrots work to protect your brain. Their high dose of vitamin A is great for your eyes and skin, too.
MUSHROOMS: You either love mushrooms or you aren’t making them the right way. Give them a go, one study found that mushrooms are unusually high in antioxidants that help your body fight aging. Shiitake, Oyster, and Miatke tend to contain the highest amounts, but eating just five button mushrooms a day can be beneficial, too.
RED OR WHITE ONIONS: Everything tastes more flavorful with a little onion thrown in. Onions are also a great source of vitamins C and B6, fiber, potassium, and manganese.
POTATOES: This includes white potatoes, sweet potatoes, taro, yuca, and yams, which are rich in resistant starch, offering benefits similar to fiber.
LEGUMES: Legumes are rich in fiber, protein, and a ton of other vitamins and minerals, says St. Pierre. Plus, they help fill you up. So look for your favorite: Edamame, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, and lentils are all great options.
The 5 Best Foods To Fight Heart Disease:
Fruits are just as important as vegetables, and you probably don’t eat enough of them. They’re packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, which all work together to keep your body humming along at its best. (And yep, filling up on certain fruits can even help your penis perform.)
BERRIES: While St. Pierre says there is no “best” fruit for you, berries, particularly dark-colored ones, might be the most beneficial, due to the antioxidants they pack. Your best bet is to simply choose your favorites, while making sure they’re a variety of colors.
AVOCADOS: America’s favorite toast topper is actually a great source of healthy fat and fiber, according to St. Pierre. Not only do avocados keep you feeling fuller longer, but they also contain electrolytes like potassium, making guac a great post-workout snack.
TOMATOES: Lycopene, the chemical that gives tomatoes their color, protects your prostate and keeps your skin looking young. This applies to any form this fruit takes—sauce, paste, even ketchup (sans too much added sugar).
BANANAS: These guys contain vitamin B6, which helps reduce stress, insomnia, and fatigue; magnesium, which helps strengthen your bones; and potassium, which lowers your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. They’re great to have on hand for quick breakfast add-ons and snacks.
Related: 9 Foods You Should Avoid Eating For Lunch
Carbs are your primary source of fuel. Your body digests carbs, converting them into glucose, a type of sugar. Without glucose, your energy levels will take a complete nosedive. Whole grains are great sources of the stuff, says St. Pierre. Plus, they are rich in fiber, which aids in digestion and helps you maintain a healthy weight, along with lowering your risk of heart disease and diabetes, according to The Mayo Clinic.
OATS: Eating just three servings a day, or 90 grams, can reduce your risk of heart disease by 22 percent and slash your risk of dying prematurely by 17 percent. Oats have fiber, zinc, iron, B vitamins, and vitamin E that all help keep your gut in check and keep you fuller longer.
QUINOA: Half a cup of this grain contains 4 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber. Plus, it adds a unique nutty flavor to your meal. We like this option from Bob’s Red Mill.
BROWN OR WILD RICE: Rice is a staple. It’s easy to make and prep ahead of time, so your meals are never lacking quality carbs.
WHOLE GRAIN BREAD: Whole grain bread helps keep you full and is great to keep in your pantry for quick breakfasts and lunches. Just make sure the bread you buy says “100 percent whole grain” on the label.
Related: Why You Should Stop Worrying About Carbs, and Just Eat More Of Them
Feeling hungry in between meals? Ditch the candy stash in your desk drawer in favor of snacks that fuel your body. Here’s what St. Pierre recommends.
DARK CHOCOLATE: Sweet tooth? Research has shown that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate may benefit your heart. Just stick to a 1-ounce serving that says at least 70 percent cocoa on the package, like this one.
NUTS & NUT BUTTERS: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts are all fantastic sources of healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, according to St. Pierre. They also tend to be rather filling, he says, and will help you eat less at subsequent meals.
HUMMUS: Pair this delicious dip with your favorite vegetables like carrots or bell peppers and reap its benefits. According to research from Louisiana State University, “people who snack on hummus have a 53 percent lesser chance of being obese and are 51 percent less likely to have high blood sugar than non-hummus eaters.”
YOGURT: The probiotics and enzymes found in yogurt are good for your digestive system. Look for ones that contain live and active cultures, and go easy on the added sugar. (You ideally want to limit yourself to no more than 36 grams total per day.) We love this Smari Organic Icelandic Yogurt, which only packs 4 grams per cup.
Related: The 5 Best Snacks to Fuel Your Workout
Let’s not forget, you want your food to taste good. Spices and herbs are a great place to start, since they all provide unique health benefits, says St. Pierre. “Choose options that you like and will consume consistently,” he says.
GARLIC: For a flavor that has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, helps lower your cholesterol, boosts your immunity, and helps regulate your blood pressure and blood sugar, garlic should be a staple on your grocery list. Plus, it makes everything taste better.
GINGER: According to St. Pierre, this spice can help reduce muscle pain and soreness from exercise due to its anti-inflammatory properties and it may also regulate your blood sugar levels.
CINNAMON: Also rich in antioxidants, cinnamon can help control your blood sugar levels, says St. Pierre.
ROSEMARY: Rosemary is fantastic to use in meat marinades or rubs to not only enhance the taste, but to also lower the amount of bacteria that produce foodborne illnesses, says St. Pierre.
OLIVE OIL: Olive oil may protect your memory as you age, but research shows that adding various kinds of oil to your food (including canola, avocado, and soybean oil) helps your body absorb important nutrients. This includes vitamins E, K, and A, all of which play a role in better skin and eye health, bone growth, and even cancer prevention. Olive oil has a a great flavor, but burns easily. Stick to something like canola if you use it for cooking rather than dressings.
Danielle Zickl Associate Health & Fitness Editor Danielle specializes in interpreting and reporting the latest health research and also writes and edits in-depth service pieces about fitness, training, and nutrition.