To Eat Healthy, you got to Shop Healthy!

3 min read

We all love shopping. Street shopping, high-end shopping, antique shopping, online shopping, window shopping…. everyone has got a favorite. Hey, wait, but what about Grocery Shopping? Ever heard anyone say they love Grocery Shopping?

Part of the problem is that it is a chore, it takes time and with supermarkets flooded with so many items, It is very confusing! And on top of that if you want to shop “Healthy”…wow isn’t that even more…confusing/expensive/time consuming??

Do I choose whole wheat atta or Multigrain? Low fat Cheese or Normal? Soymilk or Almond Milk?

So to cut through the cloud of that confusion, we have made this little healthy shopping guide for you 🙂

Here are some smart shopping tips:

Cereals/Grain and Products

Always prefer whole foods such as brown rice and dehusked cereals and avoid refined flours.

  • Whole grain or multigrain cereals
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Whole grain cereal bars.(high in fiber, low in sugar )
  • Breads which are multigrain or specific cereal – rye, barley, whole wheat instead of plain white bread or brown bread ( sometimes brown bread are just caramelized sugar )
  • Whole wheat or whole grain pasta.


  • Toned milk, unsweetened soymilk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt ( prefer low sugar). Don’t buy pre-sweetened or flavored yogurt (can be high in sugar and calories) instead of buying the plain one, and add fresh fruits and nuts to it and make a quick healthy smoothie.
  • Low-fat cheese and paneer
  • Butter (no margarine. AND preferably unsalted)
  • Instead of choosing on aerated drinks, full-fat ice creams and colas you can opt for probiotics and yogurts, they not only taste better but also meet the protein requirements.

Non-veg food products

  • Go for skinless chicken and fish or lean cuts of red meat
  • Avoid frozen and canned products they can be high in brine and sodium.

Dry fruits

  • When it comes to nuts and seeds, we all know they are high in protein and essential fatty acids but it’s a waste if they are seasoned with salt and sugar – should always choose the plain once over the salted varieties since they are high in salt.

Fruits and Vegetables

  • Don’t drink your fruit, eat them: Choose fresh fruits, over packet fruit juices.
  • Don’t get fooled: all tetra packaged fruit juices are loaded with preservatives and artificial flavors. Include a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables to your daily meals (at least 5 serving of fruits and veggies per day).
  • Use seasonally available fruits and veggies in the recipes. This is not only economical but also adds nutrition.


  • When it comes to drinks, prefer unsweetened green tea and flavored teas.
  • Avoid aerated and black drinks which are loaded with sugar, and caffeine.

Now here comes the nifty list-


Atta: Whole Wheat, Multigrain, Bajra, Ragi, Jowar

Rice: Dehusked, Brown

Bread: Multigrain, Whole Wheat, Rye

Breakfast Items: Brown Poha, Dalia (Burgler Wheat), Muesli



Prefer Daals, Beans and Pulses with skin over the hulled and polished ones!



Milk: Toned, Low-Fat, Soymilk (prefer unsweetened)

Yogurts/Curd: Full Fat, Low-Fat, Greek (unflavored)

Paneer: Full Fat, Low Fat

Cheese: Any Regular Cheese, You can choose low-fat one but eating regular cheese in moderate quantity also does the trick 🙂



Eggs: Prefer real eggs over egg beaters or packaged egg white.

Chicken: Lean, without skin

Red Meat: Trimmed and leaner cuts


Fruits and Veggies

Buy Fresh over Frozen or dried

Fruits over fruit juices

Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Local over exported (good for environment and your pocket too)

Suggested Read,

Cold Pressed Juices: Trick or Treat?


Fats and Oils

If possible, go for Kachchi Ghani (Cold Pressed) oils over Refined Oils

Desi Ghee


Suggested Reads,

A Dietitian’s Verdict: “Which is the best Oil For Cooking?”

Cold Pressed Oils: Make the Switch Today for Excellent Health!



Popcorn (mildly salted, unbuttered)

Makhana (Fox Seeds)

Peanuts (roasted, unsalted or mildly salted)

Roasted chana


Saltines, whole wheat biscuits

Chips (Of course you can buy them…just go easy on them, I can trust you to do that right?)


Suggested Read,

Are healthy biscuits really healthy or just a marketing gimmick?

My expert tip for healthy shopping: Never go out hungry as when hungry we tend to buy junk food. And always make a list and stick to it. Happy Grocery Shopping 🙂


Mubashira Chaiwala, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Mubashira Chaiwala, Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator

Mubashira is a Certified Diabetes Educator and a Dietitian with specialization in Clinical and more specifically Renal Nutrition. She also has a certification in nutrition and exercise for fitness. Having addressed issues like weight management, diabetes management, and lifestyle disorders, her health mantra is "encourage healthy eating and conscious well being for better living!"

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