The 16 Best Healthy Grocery Items to Buy at Walmart, According to Dietitians
The wide variety of grocery items available at Walmart can sometimes be a double-edged sword. On the one hand, there's no way you won't find what you're looking for (and at an excellent price). On the other, the dizzying number of options can make sussing out the healthiest ones a time-consuming challenge.
Sure, there's fresh produce and lean meats, frozen fruits and grade A eggs, but what are some of the best healthy options where packaged foods are concerned? Here's a highlight reel of healthy grocery items experts recommend you stock up on the next time you're at Walmart.
Best Healthy Grocery Items at Walmart
Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice
Ready in just 90 seconds, these quinoa and brown rice pouches from Seeds of Change are a healthier option compared to many of their counterparts. Other microwavable pouches might contain oils and flavoring, which typically means higher quantities of sugar and salt.
Both quinoa and brown rice are good sources of whole grains and fiber: "Most of us don't get enough fiber, so having these on hand to add to meals is great for staying power, and helps our digestive health too," says Chicago-based registered dietitian Maggie Michalczyk, RD.
Chomps Meat Sticks
"Chomps are packed with high-quality protein—grass-fed and finished beef and free-range, antibiotic-free turkey," says Michalczyk. "They contain no added sugar or harmful ingredients, and are free from the top eight allergens." Most sticks contain 9-10 grams of protein, so you won't have to worry about feeling ravenous by your next meal.
"With twice the protein and three times the fiber of regular pasta, Banza pasta is a nutritious and versatile pantry staple that can help you build a wide variety of meals," says Michalczyk. "It's made from chickpeas, which makes it perfect for those looking for a gluten-free, high-protein pasta option."
S&W Premium 50% Less Sodium Black Beans
"This brand of black beans has less sodium than some other brands, provides 10 grams of fiber, and is a good source of iron per 1/2 cup serving," says Toby Amidor, RD, award-winning nutrition expert and author of The Easy 5-Ingredient Healthy Cookbook.
Bare Baked Crunchy Apple Chips
Bare Baked Crunchy Apple Chips are made from real, fresh apples that are sliced, then slowly baked until they hit just the right level of crunch.
"They have no added sugars or preservatives, and unlike other dried fruit options, they have the crunch of a chip with the goodness of a fruit," says Jessica Levinson, RDN, a culinary nutrition expert in Westchester, New York. "They're gluten-free and vegan, and one snack-sized bag has almost the same nutritional value as half a large apple."
Imagine Mixed Berry Yogurt Crisps
These crisps are made with real yogurt, cranberries and whole grains. "They're a good source of calcium for people who don't eat traditional yogurt, and contain 4 grams of protein per serving," says Levinson.
Compared to other nuts, pistachios are the lowest-calorie, lowest-fat snack nut, and they offer more nuts per serving than most—roughly 49 pistachios per serving.
Wonderful Pistachios are also a good source of protein, fiber and healthy fats, a trio of nutrients that can help keep you full. "A serving provides 6 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber," says Levinson. "Plus, 90% of the fats found in pistachios are the better-for-you mono- and polyunsaturated types."
Fiber One Cereal
"With 14 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup, this bran cereal is an excellent way to help you reach your fiber goals," says New Jersey-based registered dietitian Erin Palinski-Wade, RD. "Bran can help to lower unhealthy cholesterol levels as well, providing an additional benefit for your heart."
Whisps Cheese Crisps
"Made from 100% real cheese, with 10 grams of protein and 3 grams of net carbs per serving, this better-for-you chip replacement is an excellent source of calcium and will easily become your new favorite snack," says Palinski-Wade.
LesserEvil uses coconut oil and Himalayan sea salt where other brands may use iffy oils and additives in their popcorn. "Vegan, gluten-free, and made from non-GMO popcorn, this snack fits a wide variety of diets," says Michalczyk. "It also contains fiber, making it a more filling snack option."
Bob's Red Mill Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
Bob's Red Mill Old Fashioned Rolled Oats contain 54 grams of whole grains, 7 grams of protein, and are a good source of iron and fiber per 1/2 cup serving. "The toasted flavor and chewy texture makes for a delicious oatmeal, overnight oats, or a perfect addition to cookies, muffins, bars, or homemade granola," says Amidor.
Sunsweet Ones Berry Essence
Sunsweet Ones make the perfect sweet treat without added sugar. "The prunes are individually wrapped, so you can take them on-the-go for a boost of fiber to support digestive health," says Palinski-Wade. Eating 5-6 prunes per day has been found to prevent bone loss, she adds, likely thanks to their vitamin K content, a key vitamin for bone health.
Jack Link's Zero Sugar Beef Jerky
"Beef jerky is a shelf-stable protein option that can serve as a standalone snack, a flavorful pairing option, or a savory complement to a meal," says Kansas City-based registered dietitian Cara Harbstreet, RD. "The Zero Sugar flavor by Jack Link's packs in all the great flavor of lean cuts of 100% beef without any added sugar." And, thanks to the 15 grams of protein per serving, it's a snack that will keep you full for a while.
Birds Eye Frozen Vegetable Mixes
These steamer bags can be prepared in minutes to add a serving of vegetables to any meal. "When it comes to healthy eating, we can't discount the enormous value of convenience," says Harbstreet. "Since frozen veggies are harvested at the peak of ripeness, the quality and flavor are often comparable to fresh."
Dave's Killer Bread 21 Whole Grains and Seeds Organic Bread
"Per serving, this bread contains 22 grams of whole grains, along with 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein," says Palinski-Wade, helping you stay full and satisfied sans saturated fat, trans fats, or cholesterol.
Green Giant Riced Veggies Cauliflower
"The Green Giant Riced Veggies Cauliflower are made up entirely of pure vegetables, are gluten-free, and have up to 85% fewer calories than regular rice, which makes them a great alternative," says Palinski-Wade. And since this done-for-you riced cauliflower just needs to be microwaved, it makes it that much easier to amp up your veggie intake.