Staying slim starts by healthy grocery shopping!  For vegetarians and meat eaters alike, one of the most important components to creating a healthy grocery list is planning. By drafting a shopping list, you can achieve your weight-loss goals easily.

Start by focusing on Whole Grains, quinoa, brown rice, wild rice, popcorn, barley and buckwheat.

Other options are whole-wheat flour, bulgur, oatmeal and whole cornmeal. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends making at least half of your grains whole grains.

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Second, protein-rich foods should have a presence in your shopping cart.

Beans are a good protein source and also offer a healthy dose of fiber; up to 17 grams of fiber per cup — and low in fat.

Tofu, soy milk, veggie burgers and tempeh will also help you meet your protein needs.

For ova-lacto vegetarians, consider eggs, a lean source  of quality protein. Add in a bit of spinach for iron and antioxidants, and mozzarella for a hearty dose of bone-building calcium.

Stick to Healthy Fats;

Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults to get 20 percent to 35 percent of their calories from fat. Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that are present canola, safflower and olive oils to also lower risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition to oils, add avocado, nuts and seeds to your list.

Dairy Cheese is way too easy to overeat if you’re faced with lots of it. Buy it proportioned to 1-ounce portions.  Go Greek! Buy plain nonfat Greek yogurt. At home, mix in some fresh fruit and high-fiber cereal.

Last but most important are fruits and veggies:

Full vegetarian grocery list to help you get fitter faster_2Grab a rainbow!  To get a variety of nutrients, try to include every color of the spectrum—red, green, orange, yellow, purple, white in your diet.

These are low in calories, high in volume and low in fat, making them a healthy addition to your grocery list.

The USDA recommends making half of your plate fruits and vegetables. broccoli, collard greens, kale, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, cabbage and zucchini.

For fruit, add apricots, bananas, cherries grapes, mangoes, oranges, peaches, pears, strawberries, watermelon, papaya and/or apples to your cart.

A sample grocery shopping list should include the following items:

Cottage Cheese or shredded Mozzarella
Nonfat milk
Olive oil
Raw nuts
Seeds
Sweet Potato
Instant Oatmeal
Quinoa
Whole grain pasta
Lentils
Beans
Natural  Peanut Butter
Spinach
Bell Peppers
Tomatoes
Cilantro
Zucchini
Asparagus
Strawberries
Limes
Apples
Corn (frozen)
Red Onion
Eggs

Two of the biggest hurdles to healthy cooking are a lack of time and not having ingredients on hand. Eliminate one of those and help mitigate the other by using the handy list above.

Knowing which foods to pick up each week, saves you time and energy so you’ll have everything you need on hand to combine into tasty, good-for-you meals.

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