Shop Healthy at Costco

by Cathy Parkes on March 15, 2011 · 3 comments

People who know me from my Weigh 2 Go meetings in Austin know that I LOVE Costco and frequently recommend healthy products from Costco to people trying to lose weight and get healthy. There are plenty of UNHEALTHY things sold at Costco that you should avoid (i.e. All-American chocolate cake, which is full of trans fat), but that is easy enough to do. Here is a list of my favorite healthy food items that I get from Costco each week. Give them a try, and I know that you’ll love them too!

Whole grain bread

Alpine Valley organic multi grain with Omega-3 is the BEST tasting whole grain bread I’ve ever had. On top of that, it has 3g of protein per slice, 3g of fiber per slice, and only 81 calories. On the few occasions I’ve bought low calorie bread from the grocery store, it usually tastes like air and doesn’t even come close to filling me up. The Alpine Valley bread is denser (but not too dense) with a delicious nutty flavor.

Organic chicken or ground beef

More and more research is coming out that reinforces the importance of eating organic meat, due to the amount of antibiotics and hormones that are found in regular beef and chicken. Unfortunately, buying organic meat can be CRAZY expensive. Costco sells a 6 pack of chicken breasts for about $20, which is significantly less than at the grocery store (2 chicken breasts for $10). Plus, they are usually super cleaned up with all the fat removed and taste great. They also sell whole organic chickens and organic ground beef for a really good price vs. the grocery store.

Organic Eggs

Costco sells organic, cage free, brown eggs in 24 packs under their “Kirkland Signature” brand. These eggs are not only free of hormones and antibiotics, they also taste 10 times better than the conventional eggs. If you are still worried about eating eggs due to cholesterol concerns, you should read some of the latest research which shows that eggs actually HELP your cholesterol. Research also shows that the egg yolks also help keep your appetite in check, which is great news for people trying to lose weight. Plus, they are a terrific source of protein (6g) and only 70 calories each.

Edamame

Peggy’s Premium fully cooked edamame comes in 12 individually sealed microwaveable bowls. You simply put a slit in the top of the plastic and microwave it for 3 minutes. I like to sprinkle a little seasoned salt on my edamame. The best part of this snack is that each serving has 8 grams of protein, no saturated fat, and only 99 calories. It’s a great mid-afternoon snack that can keep you full until dinnertime.

Frozen fruit

Costco sells a variety of frozen fruit – blueberries, strawberries, and mixed berries. You can use them to make healthy smoothies, eat them with greek yogurt, or stir them in with your cottage cheese. The nice part about frozen fruit is that you don’t need to worry about it spoiling in your refrigerator! I personally love adding frozen blueberries to my vanilla greek yogurt, along with some sliced almonds.

Greek yogurt

Plain fat-free greek yogurt gives you 20g of protein, 0g of fat, and only 100 calories! Costco sells a large container of Fage plain greek yogurt at a really good price. I use it in place of sour cream in ALL of our recipes. It tastes identical! If you prefer flavored yogurt, Costco also sells Chobani greek yogurt in a variety pack (strawberry, peach, and blueberry). It definitely has more sugar than the plain variety, but it is still packed with protein and contains no fat.

Lentil soup

Tasty Bite Madras lentil soup is a favorite after-school snack at our house. Costco sells them in boxes containing 4 microwaveable pouches. Each serving contains 7g of protein, 5g of fiber, and only 150 calories. They are really tasty, with just the right amount of spice!

Tortillas

It’s always better to eat whole wheat tortillas, but if you or your family prefers white tortillas, then you will love Tortilla Land’s uncooked flour tortillas! If you look at the ingredient list on supermarket tortillas, it is a mile long and most contain trans fat. Tortilla Land’s tortillas have only 5 ingredients:  Wheat flour, water, canola oil, salt, and sugar. They are minimally processed, have NO saturated fat or trans fat, and only contain 140 calories per tortilla. They are so incredibly good freshly cooked that you will want to eat them plain!

Organic spinach

If you buy pre-washed organic spinach from the grocery store, you will likely pay $6 for a small container. At Costco, they sell the same Earthbound organic spinach in a HUGE container for $6. Spinach is one of the MOST nutritious foods on earth, containing tons of antioxidants and vitamins and virtually no calories. I like to put a little goat cheese, walnuts, and vinaigrette dressing on my salad.

Fresh fruit

Raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries are all incredibly nutritious and delicious. Costco typically sells berries in big containers for a fraction of the price at grocery stores. They also sell organic apples in 12 pack containers, a variety of citrus fruits, and specialty pears. I rarely get fruit at the grocery store anymore because Costco has a better variety and better pricing.

Fresh vegetables

Costco sells a variety of fresh vegetables, including asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, corn, carrots, baby cucumbers, lettuce, bell peppers, and more. My favorite out of the bunch: Brussel sprouts! They come in 2 pound bags and are pre-washed. If you slice them in half, toss them with olive oil and salt, and roast them at 400 degrees for 25 minutes, they are INCREDIBLE!

Hummus

If you are looking for something yummy and nutritious to dip those vegetables in, buy a big container of Sabra hummus at Costco. My favorite flavor is Roasted Pine Nut, but they also have Chipotle, regular, and other varieties as well. Hummus gives you some extra protein and delicious flavor, and is WAY healthier than dipping your veggies in ranch dressing.

Nuts

Costco has great deals on a variety of nuts – walnuts, almonds, pistachios, pecans, pine nuts, and more. My favorite variety is the Kirkland Signature Marcona Almonds. These blanched marcona almonds taste SO much better than regular almonds. To me, they taste more like cashews, but you get all the health benefits of almonds. They ARE definitely more expensive, but if you can afford them, you will not be sorry! One more note – Costco carries a number of products with nuts that are not healthy, like the cashew turtles they are always sampling. Go for the PLAIN nuts, and leave behind anything chocolate covered or coated in sugar.

Do you have other healthy products that you like to buy from Costco? If so, please share it with Happy Dieter!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Karen November 13, 2012 at 2:33 am

I like the foods you listed above. In addition I regularly buy:
Basil Pesto Tilapia
Wild Alaskan Salman
Kirkland Green Tea Bags
Cytosport Chocolate Whey Protein Powder
Whole Grain Spaghetti

Kyndra June 26, 2013 at 2:55 am

You mentioned the prices of the organic chicken–do you know the price of the organic eggs, almonds, and maybe some of the fruit. Costco is about 1 1/2 away from where we live, but we are considering getting a membership anyway and making a trip once a month. Just trying to decide if it will be worth it for us.

Cathy Parkes July 9, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hi Kyndra! Given your distance from Costco, that is a tough decision as to whether a membership would pay off or not… So, I checked my latest receipt from Costco to give you a feel for some of the prices. A package of 24 organic, free-range brown eggs costs $7.39, a 2 loaf pack of the organic bread costs $6.89. I bought a pretty large container of organic strawberries for about $5 last time I was there. I haven’t been buying chicken much lately, and I can’t remember the price per pound… I live in San Diego, so the prices may be a bit more than other parts of the country. You may want to go visit once and get a guest pass. Then, you can go in and check on all the selection and prices and decide whether to get a membership or not. Good luck, Kyndra!

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