"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


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