Wondering what a nutritionist buys at the grocery store? We were curious too.
So we asked two registered dietitians — Maya Feller and Dr. Kellyann Petrucci — to share the healthy staples that are always on their grocery list.
“If I could eat one food every day for the rest of my life, it would be eggs. Hard-boiled, fried, scrambled, poached, rolled into an omelette, or baked in a frittata, the eggs just can’t be beat,” says Dr. Kellyann. “I love these little nutrition bombs because they’re one of the world’s best and least-expensive sources of high-quality protein.”
”The myth that eating eggs raises your cholesterol has finally been laid to rest,” says Dr. Kellyann.
“As it turns out, eggs don’t affect your cholesterol significantly. And when eggs do change your cholesterol, studies hint that they do it in a good way. I eat eggs every single day, and I never get tired of them,” she says.
Maya likes duck eggs when she can find them at the store.
“Duck eggs are a lot bigger than regular eggs,” she says. “They’re higher in protein, so it’s about 9 grams of protein per duck egg, which is amazing.”
RELATED: Here’s How Rach Hard Boils Her Eggs
Dr. Kellyann says lemons “are the perfect choice for helping your body flush out some of the bad stuff you don’t want hanging around.”
“And they contain Vitamin C to boost your immune system. Adding fresh squeezed lemon to hot water is the first thing in the morning that will do wonders for you!” she says. “Anytime I wake up bloated or a little puffy, I turn to my lemon water. Plus, Vitamin C is needed for the synthesis and maintenance of collagen. It helps to produce collagen, as it has an active role in collagen synthesis.”
Ever heard of jicama? It’s a root vegetable thatDr. Kellyann calls “an energy carb” and says “is low in calories and high in fiber and water, making it a weight loss power food.”
“One cup of jicama has over 6 grams of fiber. And the type of fiber it contains is called inulin, which is a prebiotic fiber that benefits the health of the gut. Inulin is also a soluble fiber which means it turns to gel in the intestines. This can slow down the emptying of the stomach, helping keep you fuller longer which can in turn reduce cravings and feelings of hunger. Plus, fiber is great for keeping blood sugar levels stable.”
She likes to slice jicama up like an apple and add it to heart-healthy guacamole.
“I also love making jicama fries (this veggie fry recipe works for jicama too). Jicama also contains antioxidants and is high in Vitamin C,” she adds.
4. Avocados (and Avocado Oil )
Speaking of guacamole, Dr. Kellyann says avocados are packed with heart-healthy fat, plus fiber.
“They’re beneficial for gut health, and also great for your skin. In fact, some studies found that a daily intake of one avocado for eight weeks improved firmness and elasticity of forehead skin for 39 healthy women with overweight. This is the first study of its kind to find a link between eating avocados and skin health.”
Dr. Kellyann is passionate about adding both avocados and avocado oil to your shopping list because she believes in diversifying your oils.
“Many people have added olive oil to their cooking repertoire but it’s also good to rotate and swap in oils like avocado oil. Avocado oil has a mild, slightly buttery flavour. It doesn’t overwhelm your food, and you can use it for anything from marinades to mayonnaise. It’s also good for sautéing and pan roasting because it has a higher smoke point.”
She recommends adding 1 tablespoon of avocado oil to every meal for heart and gut health.
5. Bone Broth
Sipping on two cups of bone broth a day is the foundation of Dr. Kellyann’s bestselling book, Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth Diet. Bone broth is the best whole food source of collagen. Oral collagen supplementation can increase skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density. This is in part because oral collagen supplementation can reach the deeper layers of the skin,” she says.
“This improves skin physiology and appearance by increasing hydration, elasticity, and firmness, which in turn leads to wrinkle reduction and skin rejuvenation. Bone broth also contains glutamine, which is an important amino acid to heal and seal the gut. When heated, collagen becomes gelatin, which is also important for gut health.”
6. Dried Unsweetened Blueberries
“You’re going to get antioxidants, you’re going to get polyphenols [and] you’re going to get vitamins and minerals,” Maya says.
7. Plain Jarred Tomatoes
“There’s nothing added,” the dietitian says. “I control what’s going in.”
“It is a fantastic snack,” Maya says. “It [has] soluble and insoluble fiber, as well as Omega-3.”
Snack alert: Maya likes to wrap her seaweed around hard-boiled eggs for a protein-filled boost. (Fun fact: We learned from a viewer that seaweed is actually a diet staple in Japan — one of the top countries for life expectancy!)
9. Lots Of Fresh Fruit
“Having fresh produce in my home is absolutely important,” Maya tells us. “It is the basis of all of our meals.”
For starters, Maya had bananas, oranges, grapefruit, pomegranates and tomatoes on hand.
“I will buy different types of mushrooms and just vary them in and out,” the nutritionist says, “because the nutritional properties vary based on the mushroom.”
(During our tour of her NYC kitchen, Maya had cremini mushrooms!)
RELATED: What Are Medicinal Mushrooms?
11. Swiss Chard (or Rainbow Chard)
“[It’s] a really nice source of vitamins and minerals,” Maya says. (Try it in Rach’s Umami Spaghetti)
12. Plantain Chips
If you’re looking for an alternative to a traditional potato chip, plantain chips are your friends, Maya insists.
“They’re low in sodium with no added sugars,” she says.
13. Jerusalem Artichokes
Also known as sunchokes, this root veggie hits carb cravings but “contains a type of carb known as resistant starch, so that’s nice for people who are trying to prevent blood sugar spikes,” explains Maya.
Maya likes ALL types of radish including daikon, watermelon radish, black radish and rainbow radish — and she especially likes mixing them in a salad with a little dressing and seeds (Here’s a delicious radish salad recipe with cilantro to try).
15. Lactose-Free Milk
“It’s really easy for me to digest,” the dietitian says. “I will never, ever give up my morning coffee.” (Us either!)
RELATED: Is Almond Milk Healthy?
“I love popcorn because it’s a whole food,” Maya tells Rach. “It’s whole grain. It’s a little bit crunchy.” Try Rachael’s recipe for Sesame-Ginger Popcorn if you’re looking for a tasty, healthy homemade snack.
“They’re a wonderful source of protein and fiber so they help keep you satisfied,” says Maya.
Snack alert: Maya likes to mix popcorn, almonds and dried unsweetened blueberries for an afternoon snack.