Sunday, July 11, 2021

What does a nutritionist buy at Costco?

Are you a Costco shopper?  So many choices and so much good food.  What foods does a nutritionist put in her cart at Costco?  Candace Nelson wrote an interesting article for Insider about the things she buys at Costco.  What are some healthy food choices a nutritionist puts in her cart?

  1. Eggs – not just any eggs but Free-Range eggs with Omega-3’s. Why Omega-3?  Because it is a fat we actually need and one good for our heart.  Eggs are actually low in calories and are an excellent source of protein.  Fish is a great source of omega-3 fats, but some people aren’t fish lovers.  So, eggs with omega-3 are another way to add this healthy fat to your diet.
  2. Mandarin Oranges – Who doesn’t like a fresh, juice orange?  What a great way to add some vitamin C to your day.  And kids often like mandarins because they are small, easy to peel and taste great.  Candace Nelson notes they also “last for several weeks in the fridge”.  If you are taking iron supplements, it is good to eat a mandarin orange with your supplement.  Why?  Because vitamin C aids iron absorption.
  3. Mixed Nut Butter – I love peanut butter but some people love different nut butters.  Kirkland’s makes a mixed-nut butter made of almonds and cashews and some seeds:  chia, pumpkin and those healthy flax seeds.  Look at the ingredients and you will note no salt or sugar is added.  Surprisingly, it spreads easily.  There is fat in any nut butter, but nuts provide a heart-healthy fat and include those healthy omega-3 fats.
  4. Apples – for years they didn’t think apples provided much nutritional value but no longer.  Apples provide fiber, some vitamin C, are loaded with phytonutrients and provide trace minerals like boron.  The Costco gala apples have Disney characters on the bag, making it attractive to children and also noting the apples are smaller in size, so great for packing in a kid’s lunch.
  5. Olive oil – I’ve written a number of blogs on how healthy olive oil is, especially Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVVO).  (See Cooking Oils and Good Fats.)  Cook with EVVO, add some EVVO to your salads as olive oil is a heart-healthy fat.  Why?  Because it is rich in what they call, monounsaturated fats, the fat that helps lower your bad cholesterol, LDL cholesterol.  The American Heart Association (AHA) notes, Olive oil may lower your heart disease risk.  And it doesn’t take much olive oil to help your heart.  AHA cited a study finding that people “who ate more than half a tablespoons of olive oil each day” lowered their risk of heart disease by 15%.
  6. Frozen fruit especially blueberries.  My husband always has some blueberries for breakfast.  If not on his cereal, then mixed in with some yogurt.  Sometimes it isn’t easy to find fresh blueberries so he buys frozen blueberries.  Some people think frozen fruit is not has healthy as fresh fruit, but not true.  So, take some time at Costco to look in the frozen food section and pick up a bag or two of frozen fruit.  I add some frozen blueberries to my oatmeal before I pop it in the microwave.  Frozen fruit is great to add to smoothies.  Blueberries are a good choice and are often called a “super food”.  Why?  Fruits contain those healthy phytochemicals and blueberries provide phytochemicals that help delay aging and help your heart by preventing blood clots.  They also give your immune system a boost.  But other berries also have good health properties.  See, Why are berries and other fruit and veggies so good for your health? 
  7. Dave’s Killer Bread – so many people shun bread thinking it is fattening.  Not true.  You want bread and grains in your diet but you want to be sure they are whole grain.  And Dave’s Killer Bread is not only whole grain but provides 22 grams of whole grains and also a number of healthy seeds.  My husband actually complains about the seeds as they get left on the bread board. But seeds are very healthy yet not so easy to add to your diet.  When I go to Costco, I always stock up on Dave’s Killer Bread.  And like eggs, and the Mixed Nut Butter, Dave’s Killer Bread also provides some omega-3 fats.
  8. Nuts – I always teach my students to aim for a handful of nuts a day.  See Enjoy a handful of nuts a day for good health.  Dr. Oz recommends a handful of nuts and it is a healthy habit.  Why?  They are a good source of protein, provide heart-healthy fats, including those healthy omega-3 fats.  Older people who are losing weight may want to add some nuts to their day as nuts won’t raise blood sugar levels and can add some calories to one’s diet.  For those who want to lose weight, a handful of nuts can fill you up and provide a feeling of “fullness”.   I try to add a handful of nuts to my lunch but they also make a good snack.  At Costco choose Kirkland’s nuts that are organic and unsalted.
  9. Chips – no, Candace Nelson didn’t recommend chips, but I do.  I love chips and usually have some chips for lunch.  I like to buy chips at Costco to save some money on the healthy chips I like to buy.  Healthy chips?  Yes, healthy chips.  When I tell people at the gym that I love chips, they look at me incredulously.  A dietitian that eats chips?  There are two healthy chip choices I buy at Costco.  Food Should Taste Good chips and Late July chips.  Both are whole grain and the Food Should Taste Good chips have those healthy flax seeds.  In addition to chips, SkinnyPOP popcorn is a healthy snack choice as popcorn is whole grain.
  10. Aussie Bites – Organic and full of good nutrition:  rolled oats, dried apricots, Flax seeds, sunflower seeds, quinoa, chia seeds and more.  What a great snack choice for kids.  They taste great and your kids (or you) will get some healthy whole grains and healthy seeds.  One piece is 130 calories, so I treat myself to one.  Kids and those trying to gain weight would enjoy more than one.  
A healthy snack for adults and kids.

Shopping at Costco this week?  Try adding some of the above foods to your cart.  You will be adding some foods that will promote a healthier you.


Note:  A special thank you to Candace Nelson, nutritionist, for providing such great food suggestions.  

Sources:  Insider , Apples , boron, Cooking Oils , Good Fats , Olive oil may lower your heart disease risk , study, Why are berries and other fruit and veggies so good for your health?  , Enjoy a handful of nuts a day for good health , Dave’s Killer Bread , Enjoy a handful of nuts a day for good health, Food Should Taste Good,  Late July, SkinnyPOP   Image Sources:  Aussie bites ,  Chips ,  Dave’s Killer Bread


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