Clean Eating Alternatives to Common Grocery Store Foods

Going to the grocery store can be overwhelming and often times difficult to distinguish what is actually good for you between what food packaging tells you. Plus, it can be time consuming to read every food label as you add them to your cart. That’s where we come in. Legendary Foods is committed to helping you live the best life possible. Replacing common grocery store items with alternate or homemade versions can help reduce the junk you put into your body.

Before heading to the grocery store, make sure you have a plan. For cleaner eating, stay on the perimeter aisles. Typically, the aisles on the outside house fresh veggies, fruit, and meats. Avoid shopping the inner aisles where candy, chips, pop, and other sugary foods are. So whether you’re brand new to the idea of eating clean or you’re just looking for ideas to change up your meals, we’ve got 5 alternate foods to choose over common grocery store items.

Store bought salad dressing or homemade

Salad dressing is a great place for hidden sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, dyes, chemicals, and other processed ingredients you can’t pronounce. A large percentage of store bought salad dressings also contain a high percentage of refined soybean oil which is low man on the totem pole for oils, containing a high level omega-6 fatty acids.

Homemade salad dressings on the other hand, allow you to control what ingredients you add, giving you the freedom to create a completely unique flavor using products you can actually pronounce. Homemade salad dressing can be a little more time consuming, but it’s a great way to start cutting out refined sugar and oils that can have a negative effect on your body. Here are some key ingredients to always have on hand.

  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Coconut oil / olive oil
  • Fresh garlic
  • Dried oregano
  • Fresh lemon
  • Dijon mustard

These 7 basic ingredients can help you make a delicious and healthier version of salad dressing then buying it from the grocery store shelf.

Trail mix or raw almonds

Trail mix is a grocery store snack that is often times marketed as a “healthy” snack.
Although nuts are high in protein, times trail mix can a lot of sugary companions like chocolate, granola, and dried fruit. Dried fruit typically has a large amount of added sugar and fruit that is crispy is often deep fried. What use to be a great snack, low in carbs and sugar, has become a heavy dessert, hiding behind brand names and deceiving labels.

Instead of eating prepackaged trail mix, try stripping all the sugar and choose seasoned nuts instead. Seasoned raw almonds that include ingredients that come from nature is a great start. Legendary Foods has three different seasoned almond flavors to pick from including Tangy Ranch, Buffalo Blue Wing, and Cheddar Bacon. Each of these seasoned almonds are a great source of protein, low in carbs, and ditch the junk you would typically find in store bought trail mix. Macadamia nuts are also a great alternative to traditional trail mix. The Wasabi and Soy Sauce seasoned macadamias are a great way to add protein and bold flavors to your snacks.

Prepackaged meat or fresh

We live in a world that tailors to convenience, which includes meal prepping. Frozen,
precooked meat is a big culprit for being disguised as an alternative option to fresh meat, implying that they’re equal in terms of nutrition and additives. Often times, precooked meats like chicken breast strips and frozen beef patties are full of chemicals, preservatives, MSG, and GMO. Precooked meats also tend to contain a lower grade of meat and can be a combination of any edible parts of the animal.

Although there is more prep time, fresh chicken breast, beef, and turkey are the best way to avoid additives. Cooking with fresh meats ensure that you don’t consume unneeded salt, extra animals parts, and ingredients like nitrites and nitrates, which in recent studies, have all been linked to an increased risk of cancer when consumed in precooked foods.

Store bought peanut butter or flavored nut butters

Unless you’re allergic, peanut butter has probably been a staple in your diet since you were a kid, giving you a great go-to snack. However, like most prepackaged foods, store bought
 peanut butter is often fully hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fat. Even worse, there are peanut butters that are categorized as “spreads” which aren’t required to meet the standards of traditional peanut butter that have to contain 90% peanuts and 10% seasonings and oils for stability. Peanut butter spreads can add even more unwanted junk.

If you’re going to buy store bought peanut butter, it’s important to read labels very carefully and make sure that you know what you’re eating. A better alternative to store bought peanut butter and other nut butters is Legendary Foods flavored nut butters. Our Flavored almond butters and peanut butters are lightly sweetened with stevia and are a great low sugar alternative. They also contain ingredients found in nature, which is a great place to start for improving nutrition. Peanut Butter Cup, Blueberry Cinnamon Cashew Butter and Pecan Pie Almond Butter offer decadent flavor, a great source of protein, low in carbs, and free of junk typically found in strought but nut butters

Boxed mac n cheese or cauliflower “mac n cheese

On the list of foods that are unhealthy, boxed macaroni and cheese is likely to be towards the top of the list. Even “healthier” or “natural” versions that claim to be better for you have the same basic ingredients: ridiculous amount of salt, enriched pasta stripped of any nutrients, powdered cheese, and milk. However, big, well know brands have a history of adding ingredients including dyes that are used to make coal tar and GMO.

To avoid preservatives, and genetically modified organisms, make your own mac n cheese but with a twist. Instead of loading up on pasta full of carbs, replace it with cauliflower and fresh cheddar cheese. It’s a great way to get vegetables in your diet and still enjoying your favorite pasta dish.