"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well;...
and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
~James H. West

Lisa's Blog

Healthy Shopping List: 5 Tips

Lisa Cutforth - Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Healthy Shopping List: 

"Healthy eating begins in the kitchen, whether it's in a home, restaurant, dining hall, or other venue. To get the most out of the recipes you prepare, keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients from the Healthy Eating Pyramid." (Harvard Nutrition Source, May 2011)

I am often asked by my clients for tips on healthy shopping and what to stock up on.  If you get the basics right you can make healthy eating really easy.  I have a basic shopping list which I can send through to you if you request it (just fill out a form on the Contact-Us page); however I thought I would share the following 5 tips with you as they are nice and simple and landed in my inbox this morning!

5 Tips for stocking a healthy kitchen  

The Harvard Nutrition Source recommended the following 5 easy to implement tips:

"1. Produce. Choose locally grown vegetables and fruits whenever you can. Keep on hand garlic, onions, dark salad greens like spinach and romaine, carrots, and apples. When you shop, select produce that looks good, or what's on sale."

My note: When you choose locally grown vegetable and fruit, it is usually fresher, because it doesn't have as far to travel it is usually picked later and undergoes less storage and less handling.  Therefore it is often cheaper too. The fresher the fruit and vegetables the more enzymes and nutrients present!

"2. Grains. Trade in white rice for the bounty of great whole grains: barley, cracked wheat (bulgur), oat berries, quinoa, brown rice, and a host of others. Try whole wheat pasta or one of the whole wheat blends now on the market."

My note: Whole grains provide fibre for a healthy digestive tract and are also lower in glycaemic load so will help you to manage your blood sugar, your energy levels and your weight!

"3. Protein. Rely on healthy protein such as fresh fish, chicken or turkey, tofu, eggs, and a variety of beans and nuts. And move away from the traditional mealtime paradigm of a large portion of meat at the center of your plate. Instead, build a healthy plate: half the plate vegetables and fruits, one quarter of the plate with healthy proteins, and one quarter of the plate with whole grains."

My note: Beans and lentils and pulses and nuts and seeds are a much more affordable and often more versatile way of getting extra protein into your diet.  Vegetable proteins are also kinder on your heart and digestive tract that many animal proteins.  If you do eat meat or animal protein, limit the portion to the size of a deck of cards or the palm of your hand and try to follow the guidelines above for the "healthy plate".

"4. Fats and oils. Use liquid vegetable oils whenever possible for sautéing vegetables, stir-frying fish or chicken, and as the base of salad dressings. Good choices include canola, sunflower, corn, soybean, peanut, and olive oil. A dash of a specialty oil, like extra-virgin olive oil, walnut or pistachio oil, sesame oil, or truffle oil, can make steamed vegetables come alive. Mashed avocado, rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, makes a fabulous topping for sandwiches."

My note: Here I would probably recommend that you cook with oils like coconut oil, as other oils will be destroyed or denatured much quicker through cooking. Use other plant or vegetable oils raw drizzled over your food or as salad dressings.

"5. Other essentials. Learn what chefs have known for a long time: A small amount of a high-quality ingredient goes a long way toward boosting flavor. Stock your kitchen with good-quality tomato sauce, balsamic vinegar, fresh and dried herbs, dried cherries or cranberries, freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and a variety of unsalted nuts (such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachios)."

My note:  I always have fresh ginger, garlic and lemon on hand and good quality vegetable stock.  Low salt and wheat free soya sauces like tamari can also add flavour to steamed vegetables or stir fries.

Ref: 5 Tips for Stocking a Healthy Kitchen:  The Nutrition Source at Harvard School of Public Health e- newsletter, May 2011. 

I would recommend signing up for their newsletter as some great articles come through. This was an example of one I received this week (May 2011) with some great healthy shopping tips.  They tend to provide great little recipes and extra resources to accompany their literature.

Recent Posts


low calorie meal plan heart foundation tick explained healthy fast food, healthy take away skipping meals soft drink and behaviour problems overindulge Nina Simone focus fruit and vegetable shortage recipe diet diary drugfree alternatives image ability to respond libido anxiety alzheimers herbal toothpaste healthy cooking demonstration is chocolate bad for me healthy cooking party immune system low calorie diet getting fit benefits of sleeping healthy cooking parties fresh start fatigue simple 7 day detox plan love food success and you fruit mood sustainable living, rural development, organic gardening, rampumps, biogas benefits of strength training, why you should strength train sensitivity to milk ways to improve prostate health breast cancer prevention blood pressure health health with 10 % effort sexy salads salad gluten intolerance leaky gut, gut health, symptoms of leaky gut how to avoid doing the right thing and getting the wrong results dangers of multitasking while you eat weight quick recipes trans fats breast cancer awareness fun healthy shopping list weightloss life choices nutritious should I eat organic veggies what is a good breakfast calorie controlled diet indigestion pop-eye and spinach weight loss Add new tag mobile phones and brain cancer, Dr Teo Lisa's Diary making time to relax 7 steps to detox nutritionist motivation cooking with allergies love, loneliness comfort pig diet diary of a nutritionist muffins natural alternatives to drugs fresh 10 % principle benefits to keeping a diet diary healthy wine, healthy beer, healthy alcohol options how to check your breasts have fun in the kitchen comfort foods stress, keys to managing stress, benefits of stress health for busy people quick eating solutions Egg allergy Sensational Nutritional Therapist food intolerances fun breast cancer awareness video hot guys food allergies empty your mind brain health dance Dr Randy Pausch on Oprah health pioneers recipes for allergies how to say no cholesterol lowering diet are grains healthy to know and not do is not yet to know avoiding a choice happiness workshop the power to choose is sugar bad childrens lunch boxes control food sensitivities allergies homocysteine reasons to eat foods in season healthy shopping comfort eating sugar and add are frozen veggies any good lunch the tummy beast delicious heart disease health one step at a time keep focused dancing wrong type of exercise, exercise and results I don't get hungry what is movember ask my doctor Lactose intolerance Cancer have more energy detox real food relationship with food nutritious cooking skip meals energy reducing coffee nutritionist in brisbane quizz new year's resolutions happiness course Happiness christmas high cholesterol life lessons taking a break great second hand books music 7 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol and Protect Your Heart best exercise Laughter and stress celebrate life life taking responsibility I've Got Life organic vegetables hunger and stress how to avoid injury during exercise performance seasonal quick and tasty recipes how to be happy immune boosting tips improve your memory increasing energy feels good maintain a healthy weight, underweight four questions you must ask your doctor before taking medication prostate cancer Alan Pease nutrition what is healthy food how to get more of exercise gift make stress work for you memory relax soft drink and behavior problems cheap fruit and vegetables, what's in season in autumn in australia how to love exercise support your body corporate wellness go for 2 and 5 sexy salad addicted to chocolate assertiveness time management and healthy living soccer, role of team sports in longevity, role of exercise and community in longevity which is better for you butter or margarine breakfast recipies muscle wasting nutritionists diet diary obesity strength low cholesterol sugar and adhd fussy eaters foods in season, seasonal recipes cooking class in brisbane do i have to drink milk; where do i get calcium from; non dairy calcium sources natural toothpaste