Online grocery shopping has become a way of life for many; it’s convenient, easy, and comes right to your doorstep. No long lines at the grocery store, or dealing with traffic — what’s not to like? In fact, the food and beverage retail e-commerce has exceeded 15 billion US dollars in 2020 and is expected to surpass the $20 billion threshold by 2023! That’s a lot of online shopping carts.
For the health-conscious individuals who are looking to do more grocery shopping online in the future, you may feel somewhat confused as to what foods are truly healthy.
This is where Jenna Stangland, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, and dietitian for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild and Momentous brands comes in with simple yet important advice. “Evaluating the ingredients is key!” she says. And although reading labels for many can be overwhelming, Stangland breaks down the key ingredients to choosing wisely.
Understanding Food Labels
The first thing to notice for when reading the food labels is the amount of ingredients. According to Stangland, the fewer ingredients the better — most of the time. “The nutrition label can give good insight to the serving size, and nutrient breakdown which includes each type of fat, and specifying if there are added sugars vs real sugar from fruit; but the ingredients are where the details are at,” she says. Once you learn how to read the label you will feel more comfortable making your purchases.
“The ingredients allow you to identify what Types of food are contributing to those grams of fat or grams of carbs or grams of protein,” Stangland adds. For example: Seeing that a salad dressing has 12 grams of fat in a serving is one thing, but seeing that the salad dressing contains vegetable oil instead of avocado oil gives a better definition of how the body will respond and process to the nondescript 12 grams of fat.
“Seek out plant-based omega-3 fats like avocado and olive, and look for nut butters that only contain nuts and maybe salt, there’s no need for an additional oil on the ingredients,” she adds.
You want to look for real, whole ingredients without added hormones or chemicals like the ones below.
Tips for Online Grocery Shopping
Stangland advises exploring options for where to do online shopping. Some platforms provide filters on what types of products you are looking for so you can filter out products that do not contain inflammatory foods or foods your body is sensitive to, which then makes it easier and more efficient to shop.
Check out the online options and affiliated apps, there are ways to do healthy online grocery shopping without breaking the bank and instead scoring some deals on healthy, whole-food choices such as a new brand of nut butters or in-season produce.
Now let’s shop!
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PECAN NUT BUTTERS – Sunday Provisions
“Grab a spoon and start shopping,” Chef Gavan Murphy (aka The Healthy Irishman) tells his online customers when they log on to his Sunday Provisions website to grab a few jars of his pecan-infused perfection. Available in four flavors, Sunday Provisions is equally enjoyable straight out of the jar is it is as an addition to anytime treats such as yogurt bowls to protein bites, which you can find on the site’s expansive recipe section. Need more? The health benefits of pecans, which are high in monosaturated or healthy fats, along with calcium, magnesium, and potassium include helping lower LDL cholesterol, and reduce the risk of heart ailments.
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HEALTHY WRAPS – Atoria’s Bakery Roasted Red Pepper Mini Lavash
This tasty new flatbread from this California-based bakery delivers real plant-based flavor and locally sourced natural red peppers.
Made with simple, non-GMO ingredients, the new vegan Roasted Red Pepper Mini Lavash, which can be stored in your freezer for up to six months, has 70 calories, 4g protein, and most impressive, ingredients you can actually pronounce. These lavashes are great and delicious additions to healthy wraps, roll-ups, paninis, even mini pizzas.
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OATMEAL — Ono Overnight Oats
Difference between Oats as a vital protein source? Ovo has more than four times the amount of protein per serving as opposed to traditional quaker oats. Mixed with chia seeds, flax seeds (healthy fats), lion’s manes (for focus), for a well-balanced meal and to truly fuel you for your mornings. They also come in uniques flavors such as pancakes, rocky road, blueberry muffin, mocha chip, even pina colada.
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TUNA FISH & OTHER FISH – Wild Planet
Your favorite fish, 100% sustainably caught and ready to eat! Quality wild seafood that is nutrient dense with EPA and DHA, omega-3s and protein.
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BEEF – E3 Ranch & Co
Farm-raised beef; no chemicals or hormones. Hand cut by E3’s master butcher, each steak is wet-aged for 28 days and individually wrapped before being flash-frozen and shipped directly to you to maximize flavor.
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QUINOA — Nuts.Com
Sourcing their organic quinoa from a community of small Peruvian farmers, this quinoa is organically farmed, free of chemicals, and loaded with nutrients.
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BREAD – Manna Organics
A label with all real ingredients, this yummy bread is handcrafted from sprouted whole organic grains and slowly baked at a temperature much lower than a conventional oven producing soft, clean bread.
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JERKY STICKS – Paleo Valley
These 100% grass-fed sticks are made only from pasture-raised cattle in the USA and never given antibiotics, hormones, or grain. With 6 grams of protein, they are a perfect grab-and-go snack!
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TORTILLA CHIPS – Siete Foods
Get your clean crunch on with these tasty tortillas. Made out of cassava flour and almond flour, these chips taste like the real thing without the inflammatory oils and ingredients.
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TAHINI – The Tahini Goddess
The only tahini made in Israel with clean ingredients and zero sugar. With seeds sourced from Humera in Ethiopia, they are roasted at low temperatures to keep the health benefits, unlike many other sauces. With flavors spanning from Caesar to chocolate, you can ramp up everything from your veggies to your oatmeal.
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GRANOLA – Oat Haus Granola Butter
This yummy granola butter is the world’s first oat-based spread. With the texture of a nut butter and the tantalizing taste of granola, it’s the perfect lovechild of taste and nutrition. Spread it on toast, drizzle over fruit, or eat right off the spoon. Best of all, it’s gluten-free, vegan, and nut-free.
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BARS – IQBAR
Made with real food ingredients, this grab-and-go bar isn’t your regular protein bar. Formulated with clean-label ingredients rich in compounds shown to benefit the brain and body. Each bar contains 6 brain nutrients, 12g plant protein, 3g net carbs, and 1-2g sugar. IQBARs are keto, paleo-friendly, vegan, kosher, and free from GMOs, gluten, dairy, soy, and sugar alcohols.
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SALAD DRESSINGS, SAUCES, DIPS – Primal Kitchen
The entire collection of Primal Kitchen aims to satiate exquisitely with real, simple, exceptional ingredients—like avocado oil, collagen, oil of oregano, and apple cider vinegar—that contain no dairy, gluten, grain, refined sugar, or soy. Add them to all of your favorite dishes from lean meats to salads.
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CLEAN CANDY – Smart Sweets
Kick sugar and keep the candy with these low sugar treats that are packed with plant-based fiber and sweet candies that are colored with fruit and vegetable juices such as pumpkin, carrot, and spirulina from natural algae.