Sample Shopping List

Use the list below as a guide on your next trip to the grocery store. (Depending on your preferences and the amount of people you are feeding, you may not need all of the items on this list.)


  • Fresh fruit (a few of your favorites)
  • Fresh vegetables (a few of your favorites - focus mostly on non-starchy vegetables)
  • Skim, 1% low-fat milk, or unsweetened soy milk (whatever you prefer)
  • Non-fat or low-fat yogurt
  • Eggs or egg substitute
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Reduced-fat cheese
  • Lean low-sodium sandwich meats (turkey, ham, roast beef)
  • Trans-free margarine or margarine with plant sterols or stanols


  • Frozen fruit
  • Frozen vegetables
  • Fish fillets or shellfish
  • Frozen chicken breast (boneless, skinless)
  • Frozen meals (lower-sodium, lean options for days when time is tight)

Spice cabinet

  • Balsamic vinegar or other vinegars that you cook with (for example, white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar)
  • Pepper
  • Spices – your favorites
  • Salt-free dried herb or spice blends
  • Cooking spray
  • Vegetable oil
  • Olive oil


  • Canned vegetables
  • Canned fruit (canned in juice)
  • Canned beans (low-sodium if available)
  • Fat-free refried beans
  • Canned tuna or salmon
  • Instant oatmeal or quick oats
  • Whole grain cereal (unsweetened)
  • Brown rice or other whole grains (for example, quinoa, bulgur, or whole grain barley)
  • Pasta (try whole wheat)
  • 100% whole wheat bread or pita bread
  • Dried fruit
  • Unsalted nuts
  • Natural peanut butter or another nut butter
  • Seeds (sunflower, flax)
  • Popcorn (light, microwave)
  • Potatoes (white or sweet)
  • Spaghetti sauce

This list is also available in a printable PDF format.

  • Last Reviewed: August 23, 2013
  • Last Edited: April 11, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast