6 Foods Dietitians Put On Their Grocery Lists

What does a dietitian really eat? Mostly, what I recommend to everyone. Here’s a peek at what I put on my weekly shopping list:

1. Fresh Vegetables

Topping the list are dark, leafy greens along with in-season vegetables. Some vegetables can have a lot of pesticides, and for those I always choose organic. Check out my popular blog post on 12 foods you should eat organic and 15 foods you can eat non-organic.

I try to buy local foods as much as possible to help support local farmers and to cut down on food costs. Local produce generally costs less since it’s not shipped from other states or countries. Seasonal produce is less expensive too.

2. Fresh Fruit

Again, I always go for what’s in season and local if possible – it’s more nutritious, it helps the local economy, and it’s usually cheaper. When local and in-season fruits aren’t available, I choose organic frozen fruit such as raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. I like having plenty of frozen fruit on hand to toss in oatmeal, yogurt or smoothies.

3. Whole Grains: Organic and/or Non-GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

My favorites include quinoa, farro, brown rice, and oatmeal. I purchase only whole grains because they are more nutritious and less processed. They help me avoid pesticide exposure, potentially harmful chemicals, and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have been artificially engineered.

For bread, I buy sprouted whole grain products. Flours that are labeled “whole grain” are still processed and less nutritious than the grains themselves.

4. Organic Dairy

I have to admit, I’m not a big milk drinker. I get most of the nutrients I need from fruits and vegetables. But I do use organic whole and/or reduced fat milk depending on what I’m cooking and in hot or cold cereal.

I also eat organic Greek yogurt with meals and in cooking. It’s great for making dips and sauces.

5. Healthy Proteins

I look for grass-fed beef – it’s lower in total fat and has higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants (like vitamin E) than conventionally raised beef.

For the poultry on my list, I go organic or at least antibiotic free. Factory farmed poultry can have residues of antibiotics and arsenic (used to stimulate growth) that I want to avoid. I always have organic eggs around for healthy breakfasts or snacks. They’re higher in omega-3 fatty acids.

Plants have healthy proteins too, and I keep staples of organic peanut butter, whole nuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds.

6. Special Treats

I try to purchase not-so-healthy indulgences only when I’m really in the mood for them so I can satisfy my craving and move on.

The treats vary depending on what I’m in the mood for. Some weeks I might bring home organic corn chips with fresh salsa. Other times I’ll get chocolates to keep in the freezer for when I need a small sweet treat. Sour fruity candy even makes the list sometimes, too.

On occasion I’ll go to a local bakery and bring home a donut or pastry to share with my husband for dessert.

There’s no need to feel deprived of your favorite foods—the trick is to eat them in moderation. So I try to only buy a couple servings of these treats at a time so they are not sitting around the house tempting me.

Meet the Author

Andrea Petrowitz, RD is a clinical dietitian with Aurora Medical Center in Grafton, WI.

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The information presented in this site is intended for general information and educational purposes. It is not intended to replace the advice of your own physician. Contact your physician if you believe you have a health problem.

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