1. Fruits and Vegetables. Fruits and vegetables should be at the top of your shopping list. They are low in calories, high in nutrients and if you buy them in season, can be relatively cheap. Try buying a different fruit each week. Apples this week, grapes next. This way, you will get to enjoy the fruit for a while before moving onto the next one. It will keep you from eating the same fruit and getting tired of it. Buy a variety of vegetables to use in a salad or in your meals. Different colors mean different nutrients, so try them all.
2. Snacks. You should also have some non-fruit snacks on your list. You can buy nuts, peanut butter, seeds or anything else you enjoy eating. Unhealthy snacks can also be included but try not to eat them too often.
3. Chicken, Turkey and Beef. Meat is the centerpiece of most meals. You can make meat balls, grilled chicken breast, lasagna and a lot of other tasty dishes. Buying the right kind of meats can give you all these delicious entrees without making them unhealthy. Meat is usually associated with high levels of fat, particularly saturated (bad) fat. Stick to meats that are low in fat such as poultry, fish and lean cuts of beef.
4. 100% Whole Wheat Bread. In the old food guide pyramid, bread and grains were on the bottom because they contain a lot of carbohydrates which give our bodies energy to use throughout the day. You can still have your carbs, but if you make the distinction between the good and bad ones, you will be healthier. Stock up on breads that are made from 100% whole wheat flour. They have more nutrients than white flour and can taste very similar. Other carb foods you can enjoy are cereals and oatmeal.
5. Enjoyable Food. Do not forget to buy food that you enjoy. Even if some of it is unhealthy, you need to tend to your mental as well as your physical well being. Eating food every week that is healthy but tasteless will leave you bored and not wanting to eat. Eating can be fun, so splurge, a little bit.