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Make a Great Grocery List in Minutes

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Having a well-planned grocery list gets you in and out of the store quickly and helps you stick to your healthy eating plan.

Use these tips and in just a few minutes, you'll have a blueprint for a cart full of groceries that won't bust your budget or diet.

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Widows / Widowers

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Organize your grocery shopping list by aisle. Follow these tips for filling that list with the healthiest foods from each aisle.

1. Bakery and Bread

On Your List:

  • Whole wheat bread, pita pockets, and English muffins
  • Whole-grain flour tortillas

Look for the words "whole wheat" or "whole wheat flour" as the first ingredient on the label.

Choose whole-grain breads that contain at least 3 to 4 grams of fiber and have fewer than 100 calories per slice.

2. Meat and Seafood

On Your List:

  • Skinless chicken or turkey breasts
  • Ground turkey or chicken
  • Salmon, halibut, trout, mackerel
  • Reduced-sodium lunchmeat (turkey, roast beef)

If you buy red meat, choose the leanest cuts -- ones with very little marbling.

Eat ground chicken or ground turkey breast instead of ground beef. These are much lower in fat. Get creative with the condiments and you’ll get flavor without the fat.

3. Pasta and Rice

On Your List:

  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat or whole-grain pasta

Again, favor whole grains whenever possible.

4. Oils, Sauces, Salad Dressings, and Condiments

On Your List:

  • Tomato sauce
  • Mustard
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Red-wine vinegar
  • Salsa
  • Extra virgin olive oil or canola oil, nonfat cooking spray
  • Jarred capers and olives
  • Hot pepper sauce

Many sauces and condiments are surprisingly high in sodium and sugar. Look for sugar-free varieties. Keep track of sodium levels, especially if you're cutting back on salt.  

Replace mayonnaise and other high-fat condiments with fat-free options like salsa and hot sauce.

5. Cereals and Breakfast Foods

On Your List:

  • Whole-grain or multigrain cereals
  • Steel-cut or instant oatmeal
  • Whole-grain cereal bars

Buy cereals and cereal bars that are high in fiber and low in sugar. Use berries, dried fruit, or nuts to add sweetness to your cereal.

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