Fruits and vegetables
- At least one fruit or vegetable of every color: red, green, orange, and yellow.
- Eggplant and mushrooms (for meatless meals).
- Bags of prewashed lettuce.
- Bags of baby carrots.
- Precut vegetables.
- Something new for you, like mango, star fruit, jicama, or bok choy.
Breads and grains
- Bread with the word “whole” in the first ingredient.
- Cereal with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving.
- Brown rice (regular or Minute Rice).
- Other grains, such as bulgur, barley, and quinoa.
- Whole wheat pasta.
- For a splurge, buy fresh-baked rounds of sourdough, rosemary, or olive bread for dipping in olive oil.
Meat and poultry
- Extra lean loin and round cuts.
- Chicken breasts.
- Ground turkey.
- Free-range meats, if you can find them (they’re generally lower in fat).
- Game meats.
- Fresh fish, especially salmon, tuna, and mackerel.
- Fresh shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, or mussels.
- Low-fat cheese.
- Strong-flavored cheeses like blue and feta.
- Nonfat or low-fat yogurt.
- Nonfat milk (low-fat is okay if you’re not ready to drop all the way to nonfat just yet).
- Eggs enriched with omega-3 fatty acids.
- Firm tofu.
- Soy crumbles (found in the frozen food section).
- Nuts, especially walnuts and almonds.
- Flaxseed, available in health food stores and some grocery stores.
- Wheat germ.
- Hot sauces.
- Spicy mustard.
- Prechopped garlic and ginger.
- Low-fat vinegar-based salad dressings and marinades.
- Plum sauce, black bean sauce, and other Asian sauces for vegetable stir-fries.
- Vegetable juice or 100 percent fruit juice.
- Green or black tea.