6 Weight-Loss Foods You Should Buy at Trader Joe's
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6 Weight-Loss Foods You Should Buy at Trader Joe's

Cauliflower pizza crust and other prepackaged foods that won’t blow your diet.

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By Taylor Lupo

Losing weight comes down to one thing: burning more calories than you take in. Simple, right? If only! But making healthier food choices is a good place to start.

With grocery aisles packed with foods that are high in calories and low in nutrition, knowing what to pile into your cart can be a challenge. But it doesn’t have to be. We spoke with Tammy Baranowski, RDN, a licensed dietitian/nutritionist with Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida, about some of the best foods to buy from Trader Joe’s, a leading American grocery chain. These low-calorie foods are prepacked and require minimal effort to prepare.

Purge the unhealthy eats from your pantry and refrigerator and stock your kitchen with some of these nutritious foods instead.

Icelandic Style Plain Nonfat Yogurt

2 / 7 Icelandic Style Plain Nonfat Yogurt

This velvety cup is the perfect morning companion, and it comes with a recommendation from Baranowski. “It's nice and creamy, and you get all of that protein without a whole bunch of saturated fat,” she says.

Each 8-ounce serving contains just 130 calories, is loaded with 22 grams of protein and is free of the hidden sugars some other brands have. Research suggests diets high in protein help keep you feeling fuller for longer, and may even be better at helping you lose weight and keeping it off, when compared with low-protein diets.

The amount of protein you need is determined by your age, sex and activity level. Use this calculator to find the amount that’s just right for you.

Top your yogurt with wholesome ingredients, like fresh fruit or unsweetened coconut flakes, and enjoy anywhere, anytime.

Servings: One
Cost: $1.39* 

*Availability and prices may vary by location and time of year.

Organic Split Pea Soup

3 / 7 Organic Split Pea Soup

Another one of Baranowski’s favorites, this soup makes a simple, low-calorie dinner when you’re crunched for time: just heat for a few minutes on your stovetop and you’re good to go.

Per cup, this organic meal-in-a-bowl contains just 130 calories and is packed with fresh ingredients like peas, onions and carrots. It’s also a good source of fiber—about 6 grams per cup. Fiber, found in abundance in fruits, veggies, legumes and whole grains, helps regulate bowel movements. To keep your digestive system happy, strive to get the daily recommended amount of fiber—25 grams for women and 36 grams for men.

Punch up the fiber by pairing one cup of this soup with a slice of whole grain toast, at just 70 calories, or enjoy the whole container without the guilt.

Servings: One or two
Cost: $3.99

Grilled Chicken Strips

4 / 7 Grilled Chicken Strips

Grilled chicken breast is a good source of lean protein—an essential part of a healthy diet—but we don’t always have time to fire up the grill.

“I’m a busy, working mom, so I do look for convenient items that don't have a lot of additives and preservatives,” Baranowski says. “I think these grilled chicken strips are an easy winner. They’re fast and easy.”

Each 3-ounce serving contains just 120 calories and 26 grams of protein. Top your lunchtime salad with this low-calorie protein, prepared with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and a touch of oil. Other options? Heat and eat beside a serving of steamed veggies, or stir into a bowl of whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Servings: Four
Cost: $5.49

Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burger

5 / 7 Quinoa Cowboy Veggie Burger

The frozen food section at your local Trader Joe’s is likely packed with foods that make healthy dining a breeze. These frozen veggie burgers are no exception. “The amazing frozen food is probably the biggest reason I go to Trader Joe's,” Baranowski says.

Compared to a traditional beef burger, with 230 calories and 15 grams of fat, these veggie patties contain just 180 calories and half the fat. Enjoy atop a slice of whole grain toast for a meal with just 250 calories, or with a dollop of mustard and sandwiched between two iceberg lettuce leaves.

Loaded with quinoa, roasted corn and black beans, it’s not surprising that these patties contain quite a bit of dietary fiber—about 6 grams. Heat one up in the microwave or on the stove top and enjoy.

Servings: Four
Cost: $3.69

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

6 / 7 Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Pizza is an American staple, but a doughy crust layered with sauce and cheese is not always a diet-friendly combination. This veggie-rich crust makes enjoying the same zesty flavor possible—with fewer calories and carbohydrates.

“You could load your crust with veggies, a little olive oil and some marinara sauce, and that's a great family pizza night,” Baranowski recommends.

A single slice—one-eighth of a typical 12-inch pizza topped with tomato sauce and cheese—packs about 210 calories. A serving of this frozen cauliflower crust, about one-sixth of the pie, contains just 80 calories. Top each slice with 2 tablespoons of no-sugar-added tomato sauce and a sprinkle of low-fat mozzarella cheese for a guilt-free dinner with just over 100 calories per slice.

Servings: Six
Cost: $3.99

Wild Salmon in Yogurt and Mint Sauce

7 / 7 Wild Salmon in Yogurt and Mint Sauce

Frozen dinners are not typically a healthy dining choice, but this wild salmon and orzo combination is quite the exception—as are these tasty, microwaveable meals. “It's really nice for taking to work when you're on-the-go,” Baranowski says.

With just 350 calories and 24 grams of protein, this dish is sure to help you power through your afternoon. Heat it in the office microwave and within minutes your taste buds will be transported from your workplace breakroom to a gourmet cafe.

Servings: One
Price: $4.49

Nutrition and Weight Loss

Nutrition and Weight Loss

You've probably heard 'you are what you eat' at least a hundred times, but next time you do, don't dismiss it. Nutrition and weight loss are inextricably linked and without the proper diet plan, it won't matter how much exercise y...

ou do. Some foods, like hemp seeds, cinnamon and curry leaves are nutrient-dense and can help bust belly fat, while other seemingly healthier choices like 100-calorie bags of chips and boxed granola bars can sabotage weight loss. The key is to arm yourself with information and the questions below can help.
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