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, oranges, berries, pomegranates, cantaloupe, and honeydew.
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 unsweetened soy milk (avoid any containing more than 4 grams of fat
per 8-ounce serving) in the dairy aisle.
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 soy-based 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 bars
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