Buying in bulk at Costco is not just a great way to prepare for the apocalypse, it can save you trips to the grocery store, time, and money. The problem is that shopping at Costco can be overwhelming if you don’t go in with a plan and a good list. When you’re trying to be more mindful of your eating habits, walking in unprepared sans list might mean walking out with a cart full of unhealthy items. If you’re unsure of which Costco foods to buy, we’ve got you covered.
The next time you head to that mecca of bulk buying for a four-gallon tub of mayonnaise or an 18 pack of Hubba Bubba Chewing Gum, take this list of 15 healthy foods that registered dietitians regularly add to their shopping carts at Costco. And for more tips on Costco foods recommended by dietitians, be sure to also read 6 Heart-Healthy Foods to Buy at Costco Right Now, Dietitians Say.
“I’m always recommending chocolate milk to my clients for post-workout recovery,” explains Lexi Moriarity, MS, CD, a registered dietitian, and certified sports dietitian at Expert Nutrition and Wellness. “Chocolate milk has the perfect combo of carbs, protein, and sugar to replenish energy stores and repair the muscles after a hard workout. Costco has a great organic option that’s easy to take on the go and less expensive than other options.”
“Costco’s brand of extra virgin olive oil is a staple in my house,” explains Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, owner of babyledbliss.com. It has a great flavor that isn’t overbearing, and it’s always a fantastic price. Olive oil is ideal for cooking at lower temperatures and for making salad dressings because of its healthy fatty acid profile. I highly recommend this one!”
“I can’t say enough about having this big bag of chicken at my disposal to make healthy and delicious weeknight meals like stir-fries, chicken, ziti and broccoli, or chicken piccata,” says Elizabeth Ward, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist and co-author, The Menopause Diet Plan, A Natural Guide to Managing Hormones, Health and Happiness. “Not only is it boneless, it’s skinless and well-trimmed, and there is no mess preparing it. Boneless, skinless chicken is packed with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals and low in saturated fat and cholesterol.”
“One meal to stock up on from Costco is the frozen four-cheese pizza from Sabatasso’s,” says Lisa Richards, a nutritionist and author of The Candida Diet. “This pizza is gluten-free, making it lower in inflammation-causing ingredients than traditional frozen pizza. Finding ways to cut down on gluten in your diet is an effective approach to reducing your chronic inflammation. If inflammation is allowed to persist it is shown to lead to or exacerbate chronic illnesses. This pizza allows you to feed yourself or your family quickly and affordably without sacrificing your health.”
“I love stocking up on seaweed snacks because they are a convenient snack to have on hand, as well as grabbing it on the go,” says says Lisa Young, PhD, RDN, author of Finally Full, Finally Slim and member of our Medical Expert Board. “They have a very long shelf life which makes buying in bulk very worth it. These seaweed snacks are healthy and rich in minerals like calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C ,and B12. They are also great to incorporate into meal.”
“These products make it easy to include the suggested two seafood meals weekly,” says Ward. “The salmon is individually portioned in 4-ounce portions, which is a seafood ‘meal,’ and there is no cutting involved.”
“Both the salmon and the shrimp defrost quickly for easy weeknight meals,” adds Ward. “I usually roast the salmon and use the shrimp in pasta dishes. Salmon is particularly rich in omega-3 fats, which are helpful for protecting against heart disease. Both salmon and shrimp are rich in high-quality protein.”
“Single-serving hummus cups are a great and convenient snack to pair with veggies, chips, or crackers,” says Young. “They are perfect for portion control. Hummus is rich in protein and dietary fiber which makes this snack leaving you full and satiated.”
“This organic chicken stock is versatile and can be used as a base for soups, stews, and sauces, or as a flavorful substitute for water in a variety of recipes,” explains Richards. “This can help to add flavor and nutrition to meals, without adding a lot of extra calories or sodium.”
“I like to keep chicken stock on hand for when I’m sick because of its hydrating and nourishing nature,” says Richards. “Staying well-hydrated is important for overall health, and can help to support healthy digestion, immune function, and skin health.”
“Chicken stock is typically made by simmering chicken bones, vegetables, and herbs in water for several hours,” Richards adds. “This slow cooking process releases vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Chicken stock is a good source of protein, collagen, and amino acids, which can support healthy skin, joints, and muscles.”