jump past navigation
Links back to DHHS and NIH

Healthy Eating Starts with Healthy Food Shopping

Grocery Basket The new National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Obesity Guidelines say that you can reduce the time you spend cooking healthy by using a shopping list and keeping a well-stocked kitchen. Read the labels as you shop and pay attention to serving size and servings per container. Compare the total calories in similar products and choose the lowest calorie ones.

So, shop for quick low fat food items and fill your kitchen cupboards with a supply of lower calorie basics like the following:

  • Fat free or low fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and cottage cheese
  • Light or diet margarine
  • Eggs/Egg substitutes
dairy products

  • Sandwich breads, bagels, pita bread, English muffins
  • Soft corn tortillas, low fat flour tortillas
  • Low fat, low sodium crackers
  • Plain cereal, dry or cooked
  • Rice, pasta

  • White meat chicken or turkey (remove skin)
  • Fish and shellfish (not battered)
  • Beef: round, sirloin, chuck arm, loin and extra lean ground beef
  • Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
  • Dry beans and peas


  • Fresh, frozen, canned fruits in light syrup or juice
  • Fresh, frozen, or no salt added canned vegetables

  • Low fat or nonfat salad dressings
  • Mustard and catsup
  • Jam, jelly, or honey
  • Herbs and spices
  • Salsa

Source: The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute in cooperation with the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health.


Skip Navigation
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services logo

Key Recommendations · Assessing Risk · Controlling Weight · BMI Tables
Shopping: What to Look For · Recipes · Sample Menus · Food Exchange List
Selecting a Program · Guide to Physical Activity · Guide to Behavior Change · Tip Sheets
Daily Food and Activity Diary · Publications

Professional Education Materials · Patient & Public Education Materials
Healthy Weight Home · BMI Calculator · Menu Planner · Portion Distortion · WeCan!

National Institutes of Health logo
  Link to NHLBI Home Link to Healthy Weight Home Link to BMI Calculator Link to Menu Planner Home Link to Portion Distortion Home Link to WeCan! Home Link to NHLBI Home Link to OEI Home Link to DHHS Home Link to NIH Home