The Whole Foods Shopping List

This post may include affiliate links.

This post may contain affiliate links. 

While grocery shopping we tend to gravitate towards items that look appealing at the moment. That can lead to a grocery cart full of processed junk, sugar, and empty carbs. Make a shopping list and stick to items from each of the categories below to get a balance of nutrients and a variety of different yet healthy and nutritious foods.

Before we turn you loose in the grocery store, remember the following 3 shopping rules:

  1. Never shop on an empty stomach
  2. Make a shopping list and stick to it
  3. Shop the perimeter as much as possible

And with that in mind, here’s a list to get you started. Click on the links to order products and familiarize yourself with the packaging. This list is not inclusive, just designed to give you some ideas.

Whole Foods Shopping List: Whole Grains

The Whole Foods Shopping List

  • 100% Whole wheat flour (we use a lot of whole wheat pastry flour – big difference!)
  • 100% Whole-wheat or whole-grain bread
  • 100% Whole-wheat pasta
  • 100% Whole-wheat pitas or tortillas (the sprouted variety is also wonderful)
  • Amaranth
  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Buckwheat – hot cereal or flour
  • Bulgur
  • Quinoa (technically a seed, but treated as a grain)
  • Rye
  • Spelt
  • Steel cut oatmeal
  • Whole-grain breakfast cereal like millet or Whole Grain Buckwheat Cereal
  • Wild rice

Whole Foods Shopping List: Canned/Jarred Items

The Whole Foods Shopping List

  • Canned beans with no added sugar and little to no added sodium
  • Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • Light coconut milk
  • Marinara, no sugar added, low sodium
  • Olives
  • Sun-dried tomatoes
  • Tomato sauce
/paste, no sugar added and little to no added sodium
  • Tuna packed in water
  • Unsweetened fruit
  • Vegetable or chicken stock/broth
, no sugar or dextrose added, and little to no added sodium (we love the Imagine brand)

Note that acidic products like tomatoes or pineapple are better purchased in glass jars whenever possible.

Whole Foods Shopping List: Dried Fruits and Nuts

The Whole Foods Shopping List

  • Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts, to name just a few
  • Dried cranberries, fruit juice sweetened
  • Raisins and other dried fruits such as apricots with no added sugar

Whole Foods Shopping List: Condiments and Spices

The Whole Foods Shopping List

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Herbs and spices of all varieties (not the spice mixes like taco seasoning, just the pure herbs.)
  • Mustard with no added sugar
  • Naturally sweetened ketchup (we love OrganicVille Ketchup)
  • Non-fat Greek yogurt in place of sour cream or mayo
  • Safflower oil, grape seed oil, walnut oil and extra virgin olive oil
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

Whole Foods Shopping List: Vegetables (Fresh or Frozen)

The Whole Foods Shopping List

    • Artichokes
    • Asparagus
    • Avocados (technically a fruit)
    • Beets
    • Bell peppers
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage (all kinds)
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflower
    • Celery
    • Cucumbers
    • Garlic
    • Green beans
    • Greens such as spinach, chard, collard or kale
    • Leeks
    • Mushrooms
    • Onions
    • Parsnips
    • Radishes
    • Rutabagas
    • Shallots
    • Squash of all kinds (we love butternut, spaghetti squash and sugar pie pumpkins)
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Tomatoes
    • Turnips

Whole Foods Shopping List: Fruits (fresh or frozen with no added sugar)

The Whole Foods Shopping List

    • Apples
    • Apricots
    • Bananas
    • Blackberries
    • Blueberries
    • Cantaloupe
    • Cherries
    • Grapefruits
    • Grapes
    • Kiwi
    • Lemons
    • Mangoes
    • Nectarines
    • Oranges
    • Peaches
    • Pineapple
    • Plums
    • Plutos
    • Pomegranates
    • Raspberries
    • Star fruit
    • Strawberries
    • Watermelon

Whole Foods Shopping List: Lean Meats (buy organic when you can)

The Whole Foods Shopping List

  • Fish of all kinds
  • Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • Whole chicken (more cost effective)
  • Turkey
  • Bison or venison (in place of beef)
  • Eggs

Whole Foods Shopping List: Beans & Legumes (dry or canned)

The Whole Foods Shopping List

  • Adzuki beans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Kidney beans
  • Lentils (all types)
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Split peas
  • White beans

Whole Foods Shopping List: The bulk section

If your local health food store offers a bulk section, be sure to check it out. The items there are typically very healthy and you save money when you shop in bulk.

Be sure to check out these healthy recipes that incorporate some foods on the list.

Anything you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

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This post was originally published July 7, 2012

44 Comments on "The Whole Foods Shopping List"

  1. Pam Reed  February 3, 2012

    Thanks for publishing this list. It will be a great help!!!

    • Skinny Ms.  February 3, 2012

      Pam – Glad you found it useful!

  2. Cindy Percival  March 19, 2012

    haha, nevermind, I answered my question 🙂

    • skinnyms  March 20, 2012

      No problem! 🙂

  3. Redeemed1878  May 23, 2012

    Question: in the fruits section I didn't notice blackberries mentioned. Is there a reason to avoid them or was it an oversight?

    • nicole  January 26, 2015

      blackberries were mentioned, in the fruits category towards the top

  4. Redeemed1878  May 23, 2012

    Question: in the fruits section I didn’t notice blackberries mentioned. Is there a reason to avoid them or was it an oversight?

  5. Teresae  May 30, 2012

    Is there a list for a low carb diet

    • skinnyms  May 30, 2012

      Teresae, Not as of this writing…maybe soon!

    • Lissa704  July 1, 2013

      Yeah, because I can't eat half the stuff on this list.

  6. Beamerbabe1990  June 8, 2012

    I don't see an answer for this question. I would like to know too.

  7. skinnyms  June 8, 2012

    The list is not inclusive…just some ideas to get you started. 🙂

  8. Kristinecassidy  June 12, 2012

    Blackberries are listed under blueberries halfway down the fruit selection.

  9. Mkcwolff  June 12, 2012

    how about a gluten free list

    • Skinny Ms.  June 13, 2012

      Great idea. We're actually working on that now. 🙂

  10. Annette Pavlic  June 22, 2012

    What about dairy?  Is almond milk really better for you than 1% milk?  And what about coffee creamers?   I am trying to lose weight so any advice is appreciated.

    • Skinny Ms.  June 23, 2012

      Annette, As far as whole foods go, if you don't have any issues with dairy…then drink away. There's so much disagreement on dairy and whether or not it causes inflammation in the body. Almond milk is good but the commercial kind is typically full of other ingredients…not so healthy. So unless you make your own with a powerful blender or vitamix…I'd stay with 1%. Also, as far as coffee creamer…I'm having a cup of Joe as I type this and I make my own. Here's how with my simple recipe: Morning Cup of Joe in the Raw

      • Miranda  August 10, 2017

        What do you mean by commercial stuff? So does that mean Silk isn’t good for your heart like it says it is?

        • Gale Compton  August 10, 2017

          Miranda, It means that it’s important to read the Ingredient’s list in everything you consume.

  11. Myra A Rosa  July 9, 2012

    How about a printable .pdf list with check boxes?  Like the Ultimate Shopping list layout?

  12. Skinny Ms.  July 10, 2012

    Myra, There is a red print button on the right top part of the post.

  13. Jennifer  July 14, 2012

     Unsweetened almond milk is better for you than pasteurized cows milk, especially if you are not drinking organic and/or raw cows milk.  Cows milk is very high in fat, (not that all fat is bad for you, our bodies need healthy fats to balance our blood sugar/insulin levels as well as make our cell walls).  Also pasteurized milk also causes inflammation in our bodies along with being loaded with hormones and antibiotics.
    If you use any coffee creamer, make sure it is plain creamer, and organic.  Never use the fake flavored creamers, especially if you are trying to lose wight.

    • Skinny Ms.  July 15, 2012


      Thanks for the tips…we love feedback! 🙂

  14. Mary  July 19, 2012

    What about coconut milk creamers?  I've been using the So Delicious brand….

  15. Kimberly  September 15, 2012

    I've been reading a lot lately about how BPA lines the inside of food cans. Have you heard that? Is it true? If it is, we should probably only eat fresh, frozen or food in glass containers, right?

    • Ingrid  September 15, 2012

      might be wary of plastic frozen food bags

      • Kimberly  September 15, 2012

        Yes, that is true, but I'm talking specifically about BPA plastic lining cans, not frozen foods.

      • Skinny Ms.  September 16, 2012

        Ingrid, True.

    • Skinny Ms.  September 16, 2012

      Kimberly, Yes I know about BPA in cans. It's always best to eat fresh or frozen when possible.

  16. Kelly  September 15, 2012

    Respectfully disagree that almond milk is healthier than cow's milk. There are many important nutrients present in cow's mild that are not in almond milk. And please, do your research on the dangers of raw milk before you ever drink it.

    • Skinny Ms.  September 16, 2012

      Kelly, There is so much disagreement on the subject…and I'm talking from 'so called' experts. Personally, I drank raw milk until I was an adult, without problems. That's been awhile and I'm sure it's much less safe today. Thanks for your feedback.

    • Jennifer Beck  September 17, 2012

      Kelly, I agree that there are some nutrients that are found in cow's milk that are not in almond milk. The challenge with cow's milk is the processing it goes through and not in the milk itself. Although I will say that most of our milk today is coming from cows that have been fed a grain diet filled with growth hormones that make them sick, resulting in the need for antibiotics which are passed through the cow, into their milk and onto you and I. Then raw milk is pasteurized to kill bacteria. The pasteurization process eliminates the digestive enzymes that are inherent in raw milk needed to break down the lactose. In raw milk, which yes you need to be confident in the source, the enzymes have not been destroyed, so it is more easily digested. It is very important that if you consume dairy, it should be from an organic source at the least and preferably grass fed as well. You cannot find raw milk in the grocery store, but you can find raw cheese which has been aged for at least 60 days to ensure the bad bacteria has been eliminated. It is absolutely safe and delicious.

  17. Jennifer Beck  September 17, 2012

    Be careful of the amount of added sugars there are in artificial creamers. Read the labels.

  18. Tracy  November 7, 2012

    This is a great starter for me. Thanks a bunch

  19. Paula  January 8, 2016

    Hi. What would you recommend to use a a sweetener? I like to drink tea, and use honey…

    • Gale Compton  January 9, 2016

      If you’re looking for a natural unrefined sweetener, I would recommend both Coconut Sugar and liquid Stevia.

  20. Grace  November 10, 2018

    Hi there, what about zucchini? 🙂

    • Gale Compton  November 15, 2018

      Hi Grace,

      Zucchini is definitely a great whole. There are hundreds of wonderful whole foods. The list could go on forever… 🙂

  21. Dlee  January 15, 2019

    A good read …I would really like to see some videos and tips on how to do weekly meal prep maybe including modifications for someone living in a small condo with no freezer other than the small one with the fridge.I don’t know why but the thought of meal prepping feels overwhelming so any tips would be great.

  22. Al O'Brien  May 6, 2020

    I notice Olive Oil absent from many plant based shopping lists. I love it on my salads.
    Is there a better alternative?

    • Gale Compton  May 8, 2020

      Al, Personally, I like Tahini as an alternative to oil. It adds that nutty flavor.


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