Trader Joe’s has become a mecca for shoppers who have kicked the traditional grocery store chains to the curb in search for a healthier option. The retailer, who is expanding rapidly, places a high priority on offering nutrient-rich foods and snacks to the masses. While the store is chock full of great tasting and nutritious food options, there are certain food groups you’ll absolutely want to add to your cart the next time you hit the store with Hawaiian-shirt adorned cashiers.
Meal and Snack Guidelines
When purchasing meals or snacks at Trader Joe’s, or any supermarket really, there are some guidelines you’ll want to keep in mind as you add items to your cart. Your choices should have less than 10 grams of net carbohydrates. That is, the food needs to have less than 10 grams of carbs after you’ve deducted the fiber count. You will also want to look for foods with 10-20 grams of protein; protein will keep you full longer and give you energy. You must avoid sugar, including natural and artificial sweeteners.
Fresh foods are easy to come by at Trader Joe’s. These foods ranging from produce like cucumbers to yogurt dip and hummus should make up the majority of your purchases.
- Riced Cauliflower
- Riced Broccoli
- Persian Cucumbers
- Kettle Cooked Chicken Noodle Soup
- Egg White Salad
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup
- Tzatziki Dip
- Yogurt-Chive Dip
- Low-Fat Guacamole
- Oven-Baked Cheese Bites
- Pickled Vegetables
- Eggplant Hummus
Salads serve as a great grab and go lunch, and pack in vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Kale, the base for many salads, is a superfood and can ensure you kick your extra weight to the curb while packing in vital nutrients. When purchasing salad kits, be careful to remove dried fruit or croutons to keep your carb counts low.
- Kale and Chicken Salad: 1/2 dressing and no cranberries
- Cobb Salad
- Seafood Louie: limited dressing
- Greek Salad (great with a shake for lunch it has very little protein).
- Chicken Cesar Salad: no croutons and 1/2 dressing
When picking a salad dressing, looking for something with low added sugar and low carbs is your best bet. Dressings can be used to change up salads, and make them more interesting. Low Fat Parmesan Ranch and Cilantro dressing are good choices at Trader Joe’s.
- Cilantro Dressing
- Low-Fat Parmesan Ranch
Frozen meals can be used to make a healthy meal quickly on days you find yourself short on time. Shop frozen foods sparingly, and remember they can be high in salt and preservatives. Trader Joe’s offers solid options in their roasted cauliflower and Chiopini.
- Cioppino (frozen)
- Roasted Cauliflower (frozen)
Canned salmon offers vital omega-3 fatty acids, and broths can be used to jazz up riced cauliflower and other non-meat based dishes. Purchase these to garner protein without a high caloric impact.
- Canned Salmon
- Canned Smoked Trout
- Seaweed Snacks (wasabi or plain)
- Miso Ginger Broth
- Low-sodium Chicken Broth