How to Shop at the Grocery Store

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

This list of food items we checked with my patient while grocery shopping will help you determine which ones to avoid and eat.

RELATED: What About Canned Vegetables on Keto

In this article:

  1. Grocery Shopping with My Patient to Check for Foods
  2. What To Buy
  3. What Not to Buy

Foods to Get and Avoid When Grocery Shopping


Grocery Shopping with My Patient to Check for Foods

I was with my patient, and we checked out the grocery store, or supermarket, for healthy foods for her family to eat. There are a couple of things you want to do when grocery shopping, and I’m going to give you a better recipe and grocery list for this below.


What To Buy

1. Sunflower Oil

Sunflower oil is the best cooking oil because it’s best for cooking in high heat. Olive oil is good but not for heating unless it’s low-heat. You only want to have this with salads.

2. Spaghetti Sauce

Spaghetti sauce should not have corn syrup or high-fructose corn syrup. Corn syrup is an artificial sugar that spikes up Fat Storing Hormone. The goal here is to find a sauce that has minimal sugar content.

3. Stevia and Sweeteners

Stevia plant with powder on wooden board | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

The best sugar so far is stevia, an herb that won’t cause any side effects. The only problem with stevia is it’s an acquired taste and kids sometimes don’t like it, so you can opt for agave nectar instead. Agave nectar is used by people with diabetes in their diabetes meal plan because it’s a lot better for you. You can also use tupelo honey.

White sugar is refined cane sugar that pulls all the calcium out of your body. The problem with sugar is you lose all your minerals. That’s why when you have a little of something sweet, you end up with a lot of water retention in a very short period because when you drop potassium, it retains fluid. What you also don’t want to do is use aspartame. You should avoid artificial sugars.

Aspartame Definition: An artificial sweetener that is commonly used in packaged foods, especially those that are labeled “diet” foods.

4. Salt

I won’t recommend table salt. What you want to have is sea salt, which has 84 minerals compared to table salt that only has sodium and chloride. Sea salt also does not increase blood pressure. The problem with cooking your recipes with salt is you have to make sure your spices do not have monosodium glutamate (MSG), a chemical that enhances flavor, which is not very salty but contains a lot of sodium. The normal ratio of sodium in your diet meal plan should be a lot smaller (4 times) than your potassium.

5. Ketchup

Three Assorted-color of Cream in Containers on Brown Wooden Slab | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

Ketchup on the market also has high-fructose corn syrup, so you need to find those with low amounts of sugar. You can find ketchup with agave nectar. Most mustards are good because they don’t have sugar.

6. Salad Dressing

Salad is okay, but the dressing is the problem. Most salad dressings have high-fructose corn syrup. You can choose organic dressings because they neither have high-fructose corn syrup nor MSG.

7. Canned Fruits

For canned fruits, look for those with water or in its own juice. Avoid anything with syrup just to prevent developing diabetes.

8. Oatmeal

For fiber, you can get it from vegetables, not from grains. Oatmeals are the least damaging among cereal products.

9. Coffee

Green coffee beans in a green cup | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

For coffee, choose the organic ones because they are good with the least amount of chemicals. Instant coffee is not good because it’s more processed.

10. Cheese

Raw milk cheese is not cooked and has more nutrients. It is also organic. Organic products have high amounts of growth hormones, especially in concentrated milk-like cheese.

11. Yogurt

For yogurt, get those that are unflavored and organic when you grocery shop because the flavored ones have hidden sugars.

12. Water

Distilled water pulls out all the minerals from your body, so I don’t recommend it. Spring and filtered water is good but stay away from tap water.

RELATED: Is Potassium Good or Bad For Your Kidneys

13. Eggs

Eggs in carton | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

Get organic eggs as well because they are safe from pesticides, but you should make sure they’re range-free and without antibiotics and hormones.

14. Bread

Sprouted bread has a lot of nutrition, but it has a lower shelf life, so you should always refrigerate it and eat it immediately upon opening.

15. Soy

Soy is a very cheap protein. You want to stay away from soy protein isolate because it’s known to increase tumor growth.

16. Frozen Fruits

Frozen foods like fruits are okay, but they should be organic. You can get frozen berries from the grocery shop.

17. Chips

Chips | Cooked Food | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

For chips, find those that have fewer chemicals, less sugar, and better quality oil when grocery shopping. Organic corn chips may contain sea salt, so they are better. Stay away from olestra, which is bad, if you’re getting chips as snacks.

What is olestra? Olestra is a fat substitute used in the preparation of high-fat goods like potato chips. It doesn’t really contain fat, cholesterol, or even calories.

18. Canned Soups

Canned soups mostly have sodium nitrates, which can cause problems in your body. They also have MSG that makes you feel really thirsty causing you to drink a lot of water, leading to bloating. Opt for organic soups, too.

19. Vegetables

Vegetables can give you four times more potassium than sodium. Get those that are organic and fresh. If you’re just eating salad, you need 10 cups of veggies to reach your daily nutritional requirement. You can eat one salad for lunch and then another at dinner.

20. Celery, Cranberries, and Carrots

You can eat celery before you go to bed because it calms you down and is great for relieving stress. Cranberries are good for the kidney while carrots have high amounts of vitamin A. The more nutrition the food has, the more it is considered “food.” The more nutrition you have, the more you’re going to lose weight because you’re going to feed your body with what it is designed to have.

21. Kale

Vegetable Kale | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

Kale has a lot of nutrition. You can chop it and put it in your salad. You can also cut its stem and blend it with a banana with some water and ice for a healthy shake.

22. Swiss Chard

You chop it off and add walnuts and apple because it creates a great salad. Beets are good for the gallbladder and liver. It also decreases harmful estrogen in the body.

23. Lettuce

Organic baby romaine lettuce is good for salads. You can eat it with dressing. At dinner, you can steam some of these veggies. For example, for kale with garlic and onion, you can steam it. Add some kidney beans or tuna on top of it. If you choose tuna, make sure it’s light tuna with less mercury.

24. Red Potato

Red potato is high in vitamin C, but you tend to gain a little weight from it It’s a healthier option than grains. Its red color means it has more copper, which is part of the vitamin C complex.


What Not to Buy

1. Oatmeal Cookie

The oatmeal cookie we checked at the grocery has hydrogenated oils. These are trans fats very bad for your liver. We want to stay away from things with hydrogenated ingredients because those are artificial oils.

2. White Flour

White flour with scoop | Grocery Shopping 101: How to Shop at the Grocery Store

White flour has no nutrition while whole wheat flour has a little bit more vitamins, and it’s less refined. It doesn’t have B vitamins and potassium, and it ends up with empty nutrition, though, which is going to cause you to crave more food.

3. Juice

The problem with most juices on the market is they are pasteurized. Pasteurization kills all the vitamins in the juices, so they can become an unhealthy drink.

4. Deli Meat

Deli meat has MSG, sugar, high -fructose corn syrup, and sodium nitrate. Manufacturers of deli meat only make the food taste better. You can have plain turkey instead because it’s organic.

With this shopping list of food items, you now have a better idea of what to look for on the nutrition facts label. Make sure it has no added sugar, MSG, and other artificial additives that are harmful to your health. Only buy and get organic and minimally-processed foods so you can prepare a healthier meal plan for the family.

Which of the mentioned food items do you usually get when you buy groceries? Tell us in the comments section.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

For more information about Dr. Berg's 3-day intensive program in Alexandria, Virginia, call 703-354-7336.


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