April 26, 2022
Wouldn’t it be nice if you didn’t have to rack your brain about your weekly grocery list? If you had a shopping list that told you which and how many groceries to buy for the upcoming week?
To help you out, we’ve created a healthy grocery shopping list based on widely acknowledged and recognised recommendations given by the WHO, the FDA, and other authorities.
And to make your weekly shop even more convenient, we’ve included precise quantities for all groceries.
So, let’s make your list!
Over the years, the food pyramid has been upgraded in line with new scientific discoveries. There are also slight variations between different countries’ food pyramids as you may have specific preferences based on your diet.
But overall, it remains one of the best visualisations of a person’s weekly nutritional needs, and that’s why we established our healthy grocery shopping list based on the food pyramid.
In short, a healthy grocery list should include these foods (see below for exact amounts):
Keep in mind! The three macronutrients you need are carbohydrates (carbs), protein, and fats. Healthy eating guidelines recommend getting 50–60 % of your daily calories from carbs, 10–20 % calories from protein, and 20–30 % from fats.
No healthy diet can get past the fresh stuff, and fruits and vegetables should form the base of any healthy shopping list.
You should eat 5–7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. As the WHO puts it, that means at least 400 g of fruits and vegetables a day. Try to eat fruits and vegetables at every meal and include all colours of the rainbow.
Keep in mind that fresh doesn’t always have to mean raw — cooked, steamed or boiled vegetables, and vegetable soup also help you reach that five-a-day goal.
A glass of unsweetened juice counts as one serving, and don’t forget those delicious berries!
Starchy foods like whole grains and other carbohydrate sources should also form the foundation of your diet.
Slow-release complex carbs provide your body with energy for hours. Choose whole grains like oats, barley, buckwheat, corn, millet, rye, spelt, brown and wild rice, quinoa and others. Whole grain bread and breakfast cereal should also be a staple. But there’s no need to eliminate potatoes, sweet potatoes, white rice, or pasta.
Since carbs should provide at least 50 % of your daily calories, you should aim at a minimum of 3–5 servings a day or carbs at every meal.
Since carbs are our primary source of fuel and energy, the more calories you burn and need, the more carbs you should consume.
Eat a bowl of porridge, cereal, or some toast for breakfast. And feel free to eat rice, potatoes, or pasta with your vegetables and protein for lunch and add complex carbs to your dinner.
Healthy fats are essential, no matter which diet you follow. There’s no need to eat fat-free products since 20–30% of calories should come from fats.
As you get saturated fats from lean meats and low-fat dairy products, you should focus on adding so-called ‘healthy’ or unsaturated fats that tend to be plant-based. If you’re consuming 2000 kcal a day, half an avocado with your morning toast, 10–20 g of seeds or nuts as a snack, and one tablespoon of olive oil over your lunchtime salad should do the trick.
The higher you look on the food pyramid, the more disparities you might find, and the more you may want to follow your personal preferences. For example, traditional food pyramids recommend consuming at least three servings of dairy products daily.
This Healthy Eating Pyramid by the Department of Nutrition of Harvard School of Public Health considers modern trends and offers a more sustainable way of constructing your diet. It emphasises nuts, seeds, beans, and tofu as a possible protein source and has reduced the daily recommended amount of dairy to 1–2 servings a day.
So, aim to consume a glass of milk, a cup of cottage cheese or yoghurt, and a couple of slices of cheese a day.
These amounts depend on which diet you follow, but general guidelines recommend eating two servings a day. Opt for lean meats and poultry, and limit your amount of red meat.
Don’t forget to eat fish or seafood once or twice every week. Eggs, beans, and nuts are also good sources of protein.
Make it your weekly goal to eat up to 250 g of white fish and 250 g of oily fish, about 300–400 g of poultry, and between 3–7 eggs. Limit red meat to 100 g per week.
Consider adding an egg or two to your breakfast, eat 150 g of seafood or meat for lunch, or incorporate nuts, tofu, beans, or other legumes into your dinner.
These products aren’t essential for your health and have no recommended amount.
You don’t have to quit them altogether, but try to limit your consumption. For example, added sugar shouldn’t exceed 10% of your daily calories. Try out low-fat spreads and salad dressings and choose grilling, oven-baking, steaming, boiling, or stir-frying over frying.
Avoid eating sweets every day, and go at least four days every week without drinking alcohol.
To sum up the above information, a varied and healthy weekly shopping list may look something like this:
These are approximate quantities based on a 2000 kcal per day diet — the daily need for an active woman or an inactive man.
As the WHO, FDA and other authorities suggest, this grocery list should provide you with the correct amount of essential nutrients plus vitamins, minerals, fibre and all the other good stuff you need for a healthy diet.
Give it a go, and don’t hesitate to adjust the foods or amounts based on your needs. If you’re into healthy eating, then be sure to check out our 10 apps to help you eat healthy food every day blog post.
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