If you're following the South Beach Diet lifestyle, you're most likely shopping for lots of fresh, nutritious foods. To help streamline your visits to the grocery store, take along a shopping list of items you need to prepare your meals for the week. Having this list in hand will help keep you on track with your healthy shopping efforts.
Remember that it’s also okay to be flexible when it comes to any sale items you know you’ll be able to use for upcoming meals. While the perimeter of the store offers fresh produce, lean meats, low-fat dairy products, and frozen foods, don't forget to shop the center aisles too. There, you'll find other healthy items, like whole-grain cereals, breads, and pastas (Phase 2); extra-virgin olive and canola oils and vinegars; seasonings and condiments; and lower-sodium soups, canned beans, and other vegetables.
For more specific information on navigating the grocery store, check out our handy tips below. (Unless noted, you can enjoy the following items on every Phase of the South Beach Diet.)
Produce. Load your cart with a variety of fresh, nutrient-dense,
fiber-rich vegetables like bell peppers, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes,
and carrots (Phase 2). Beginning on Phase 2, stock up on fresh fruits too,
including apples, pears, oranges, tangerines, clementines, cantaloupe, and
Dairy. There are many healthy items to choose from in the dairy
aisle. For instance, part-skim ricotta cheese and other reduced-fat cheeses are
considered excellent lean protein choices on the South Beach Diet. Low-fat and
fat-free milk count toward your daily dairy requirement (2 servings per day on
Phase 1; up to 3 per day thereafter), as do low-fat and nonfat plain yogurt on
all Phases. You can also find low-fat unsweetened or low-sugar plain or vanilla
soymilk (avoid any containing more than 4 grams of fat per 8-ounce serving) in
the dairy aisle.
Meats/Seafood/Poultry. Focus your attention on lean cuts. When it comes to beef,
include eye of round, ground beef (sirloin, lean, and extra-lean), tenderloin,
top loin, and top round. As far as poultry goes, always choose turkey and
chicken breast (then remove the skin). Good pork cuts include pork loin roasts
and chops and pork tenderloin. Fish and shellfish are also healthy choices. Get
to know your fish seller — especially since you should try to eat
fish at least twice a week. (Limit consumption of types of fish that contain
high levels of methylmercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and
Foods. The frozen foods aisle offers
reasonable prices on vegetables and fruits that aren’t always in season. Most
frozen food companies now use a technique called flash freezing, which helps
preserve the flavor and nutrients of foods. You can also find vegetarian meat
alternatives in the produce and freezer sections. Look for those that contain
fewer than 6 grams of fat per 2- to 3-ounce serving. If you have a sweet tooth,
try frozen fudge pops with no added sugar as a Sweet Treat.
- Miscellaneous. Other foods to seek out from the middle of the store: Nuts (avoid honey-roasted or sweetened varieties), canned (or pouched) light tuna fish, sugar-free gelatin, sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners like agave nectar and monk fruit natural no-calorie sweetener, low-sodium vegetable juice blends and tomato juice, sugar-free diet sodas, and sugar-free drink mixes.