There are so many websites and books that tell you what you can and can’t eat on a clean eating diet. There are so many eating clean grocery lists and rules that it can be overwhelming! Let’s be honest, clean eating can be straight up confusing at times!
The good thing is that it doesn’t have to be confusing. Just think about eating the most natural foods possible. If it had to go to a factory to be processed, it’s probably not clean. If it had a mother or came from the ground, it’s most likely okay!
I saw this very helpful list on bodybuilding.com that I wanted to share with you guys. I made my changes and added some of my own notes to it. It will help you figure out what proteins, carbohydrates, and fats are good and which ones you should just avoid when grocery shopping.
Just save this post as a bookmark, print it out to take to the grocery store or hover over this image to pin it to Pinterest so you’ll be able to use this as a resource in the future.
- Egg – Grand Daddy of all foods. I usually have 3-4 egg whites and one whole egg.
- Liquid Egg Whites – This is just pure egg whites. More convenient than cracking all the eggs and discarding the yolk but will cost you a little more. Look for a carton of egg whites that say they are “pasteurized” so you can add them to recipes and don’t need to cook them (think my frozen peanut butter cups recipe...yum!!)
- Skinless Chicken Breast or Cutlets – Lean, inexpensive, high quality protein; staple of every healthy diet.
- Lean Ground Turkey – Lean high quality protein. Little more expensive than chicken breast.
- Top Round Steak – Lean cut of meat. Has more fat than chicken but great source of meat. Can be eaten while dieting in moderation. Just try not to have it every day!
- Filet Mignon – Tasty lean cut of meat. Expensive but worth it every once in a while. Once a week is fine.
- Buffalo – Lean red meat, very tasty but super expensive. Give it a try.
- Tilapia – Inexpensive lean white fish.
- Flounder – Inexpensive lean fish.
- Cod – Inexpensive lean fish.
- Pollock – Lean fish.
- Wild Salmon – Healthy fatty fish.
- Canned Tuna – Lean inexpensive fish. Make sure you get the one in water not oil.
- Turkey Bacon – Leaner than regular bacon, but high in sodium. This is not something you should have very often but it doesn’t have to be avoided completely.
- Lean Ground Beef – Make sure you get something that is at least 90% lean. Laura’s Lean Beef is a great lean brand.
- Cottage Cheese – Slow digesting form of protein. Great for having when you have to go a long time in-between meals and also excellent to have before bed. I usually go for the low fat version (not fat free because that has more unnecessary ingredients to keep the flavor)
- Pork Tenderloin – Inexpensive lean protein.
- Wild Sea Bass – Lean high quality protein. More expensive.
- Wild Swordfish – Lean high quality protein. Expensive.
- Skinned Chicken – The skin adds extra fat that you don’t need.
- Breaded Chicken – The bread crumbs adds simple carbs that you don’t need.
- Deli Meat – Made with too many chemicals. Low quality of meat. Very high sodium.
- Bacon – Too Fatty and full of sodium.
- Fatty Ground Beef – Any ground beef that is below 85% is too fatty for me.
- Fatty Cuts of Red Meat – Just look at the steaks, if the outside of the steak has some fat on it but the body of the steak is all red then that is fine. All you have to do with those steaks is cut the fat off the edges. If the body of the steak is riddled with white fat you are getting a low quality highly fatty steak that might taste good but won’t be good for you.
- Oatmeal – It is a great slow digesting carb. Try quick cooking whole wheat oats for a fast and easy meal every morning!
- Steel Cut Oats – Similar to oatmeal. Slow digesting carb.
- Fruit – All fruits are great but some are better than others for different reasons. Blueberries are at the top of the list for antioxidants and bananas are great for post-workout carbs. The majority of them digest faster than complex carbs so they are best used in the AM or pre and post workout.
- Vegetables – Like fruit you really can’t go wrong when you eat veggies. During the off-season all veggies are great to have but when you are looking to diet I stick with just the green ones as they have less calories and net carbs. Veggies are a great source of fiber. Try to have some in every meal.
- Sweet Potatoes/Yams – Tasty slow digesting carb.
- Brown Rice – Staple of a clean diet. Brown rice is a slow digesting carb.
- Whole Wheat Bread / Ezekiel Bread – I like to have Ezekiel bread as it is not processed and not made with white flour. Great slow digesting carb.
- Cream Of Wheat – Substitute for white rice. Faster digesting carb.
- Cereal – Most cereals today are loaded with sugar. Oatmeal is a better option. Add some blueberries and Splenda to it and I promise it will be as sweet as you need. On top of that you will be getting a much healthier carb source.
- Candy – Loaded with sugar.
- Chips – Loaded with simple carbs and bad fats.
- Ice Cream – Loaded with sugar.
- Soda – It’s basically just sugar water with carbonation. A diet soda once a week won’t derail you from your diet.
- Sugar Juice – I am not a big believer in any kind of juice even most fruit juices as they are mainly sugar water. I would rather eat the entire fruit which has all the nutrients and is better for you.
- Olive Oil/Flaxseed Oil – Great source of fat. Great to add to dishes.
- Fish Oil – Staple source of healthy fats.
- Almond Butter/Cashew Butter – Derived from the nuts but a good source of fat.
- Almonds – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Pecans – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Walnuts – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Cashews – Great source of fat and small amount of protein.
- Natural Peanut Butter – Not processed. Great source of fat and some protein. Love adding this to my shakes during the day.
- Avocados – Healthy fat source. Love it in my sushi.
- Fried Anything – I know that the government is making restaurants get rid of making saturated and trans fats in fried foods but you should still just stay away from fried food.
- Butter and Margarine – Not healthy to add to the bread. Add something like olive oil instead.
- Palm Oil – Not healthy fat source.
- Vegetable Shortening – Not healthy fat source.
I hope you enjoyed this eating clean grocery list! Again, make sure to save this post as a bookmark, print it out to take to the grocery store or hover over this image to pin it to Pinterest so you’ll be able to use this as a resource in the future.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions or would like to add anything to the Eating Clean Grocery List!