Add These Dietitians' 29 Favorite Healthy Costco Foods to Your Grocery List, Stat

Add These Dietitians' 29 Favorite Healthy Costco Foods to Your Grocery List, Stat


If you have the cabinet space for it, buying in bulk is one of the ultimate strategies for eating clean on not so much money. If I buy a bigger bag of quinoa, I'll make more quinoa recipes, because it's right there in my cabinet. Plus, that cuts down on the times I'll have to run out and buy another bag, which turns into less money spent and fewer times I have to fight off the impulse to dump the entire candy aisle into my shopping cart.

So what are the healthiest foods you can buy at Costco, aka the bulk-buyer's paradise? There are a lot of options, and it all depends on your health goals, but we decided to start by asking the professionals — registered dietitians, or RDs — what they buy on their Costco excursions. Grab a couple of recommendations, your Costco card, and the biggest shopping cart you can find, and I'll see you in the checkout line.

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"I buy walnuts and other nuts in bulk at Costco. The price is cheaper per ounce than at a regular supermarket, and you can keep the larger amount in the refrigerator or freezer to maintain freshness. Nuts are a must in my house for salads and adding to yogurt and different vegetable side dishes. They pack protein, fiber, and minerals that make it a valuable item to stock in your house!" — Jackie Arnett Elnahar, RD, CEO of Teladietitian

"Nuts are a great on-the-go snack, a source of healthy fats and key nutrients that can help curb those midday hunger pains without going overboard. I also love throwing a few in my yogurts or morning oats." — Lorraine Chu, MS, RDN, founder of

"I always buy mixed nuts in bulk. Mixed nuts are full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them the perfect snack to hold you over until your next meal. They can also get expensive when not buying in bulk, so I always make sure to stock up when making my trip to Costco. " — Laurel Ann Deininger, MS, RD, CDE

"Almonds, pistachios, walnuts, mixed nuts — you cannot beat the price for the quantity and quality of nuts available at Costco. I love to throw some over a salad to add a crunchy bite, mix some into a bowl of oatmeal, add some to my favorite chocolate chip recipe, or use some in a batch of homemade granola or trail mix. I always keep some in our car as a quick, easy snack." — Crystal Karges, MS, RDN


"I cook with it and use it for salad dressings. It's great to buy in bulk because it lasts longer and I use it so much. Costco has plenty of brands to choose from, but the Kirkland brand is generally cheaper and just as good as the others. Olive oil is also a great healthy fat to have in your diet." — Shana Spence, MS, CDN, RDN, in New York

"My favorite place to purchase olive oil is Costco. It is usually about half the price per ounce than other places but is packed with the same healthy fats and great taste as more expensive options." — Elizabeth Kehoe, RD


"I'm allergic to all nuts except for almonds, so I use almond butter so much. It's great because it's a good source of protein, and I use it religiously for breakfast. I put it on toast, in oatmeal, and in smoothies. I usually don't go wrong with the Kirkland brand." — Shana Spence


"I personally like the Kind brands because they have fewer ingredients, and those ingredients are easy to read. They are sold in large bulk quantities, so throwing a bar in your bag is a great snack on the go." — Shana Spence


"I love buying a large bottle of avocado oil at Costco. It can be a bit pricey at regular grocery stores and for a much smaller portion. Avocado oil has a high smoke point of 500 degrees F. Other oils, such as olive oil, have a much lower smoke point, meaning that oils can become carcinogenic when cooked with, if the cook exceeds the smoke point. I love using avocado oil for cooking, especially for roasting veggies." — Lorraine Chu

"Avocado oil is amazing to cook with. It has a higher smoke point compared to other cooking oils. If you cook with certain oils and heat the food temp past that particular degree (ex., olive oil has a smoke point of 350 degrees F), then you may produce carcinogens or cancer-promoting agents." — Emily Wetzel, RD, LDN


"I always make sure to have chia seeds, as I use them in granola and to make breakfast pudding parfaits. For being so small, they pack a big nutrition punch and are very versatile." — Jennifer Smith, RD


"I have a gluten sensitivity, so I buy almond flour from Costco, both to help with the price point and because I like to bake. If I were to buy the small bags of almond flour at the grocery store, I would probably be buying them every week." — Jennifer Smith


"I buy frozen fruit because I eat at least one serving per day, especially in the Winter while berries are out of season. I love to defrost the berries so they release their juices, and I mix in plain yogurt to give it some flavor without all the added sugar. I also love to use frozen fruit to make nice cream and in smoothies." — Jennifer Smith

"We go through a lot of frozen berries at my house, and buying in bulk saves both money and an extra trip to the grocery store. Both my boyfriend and I will add them to oatmeal in the morning, and I'll make a smoothie bowl with them most every weekend. Frozen fruits are picked at the peak of ripeness and are just as nutritious as fresh versions. " — Emily Cooper, RDN at Sinful Nutrition

"I love that I can buy giant bags of frozen berries, because we use them every day. We put them in oatmeal, make jam, or even use them as a sugar-free yogurt topping! Frozen berries release their juices as they are warmed, so it creates a nice, sweet syrup without any added sugar." — Laura Yautz, RD and owner of Being Nutritious in Pittsburgh


"I always have to have peanut butter on hand in my house. Everyone in my house loves peanut butter, so that's something I definitely don't want to run out of. I think I could put peanut butter on everything but mostly use it on fruits to help stabilize my blood sugar and keep me full longer." — Jennifer Smith


"I add ground flax and chia seeds to a lot of my meals and snacks, such as morning smoothies, on top of avocado toast, or even sprinkled in salads. They add a boost of both fiber and healthy fats and are cost-effective to buy in bulk. I just stash them in my freezer to extend their shelf life." — Emily Cooper


"So easy to use as a base — and toss some convenient protein in, such as grilled chicken, salmon, or shrimp." — Carla Schuit, MPH, LDN, RD at Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital


"My kids love milk, especially with dessert. We go through so much. I love that theirs is ultra-pasteurized and therefore lasts a number of weeks." — Jodi Greebel, RD


"I only buy oatmeal at Costco! Not only is this fiber-packed product less expensive at Costco than anywhere else, but it is shelf-stable, too. Even though it will take me a while to get through it, I know that it will be just as fresh a couple weeks later as it was when I purchased it." — Elizabeth Kehoe

"There are four people in my household, and we all eat oatmeal every morning, so running out of it isn't an option. It's also a great add to smoothies or meatloaf, or it can be ground into a powder and used in place of breadcrumbs for a healthier, high-fiber option. Oatmeal is a source of soluble fiber, which pulls cholesterol out of your body, so it's ideal for anyone at risk for heart disease." — Laura Yautz


"Add a scoop of already-made quinoa or brown rice to a kale salad and you have an easy, complete meal." — Carla Schuit


"I always buy quinoa in bulk from Costco (the Kirkland Organic variety). It is a staple in my house because it makes a great side dish for a variety of meals. It's easy to cook up (takes about 15 minutes), is full of health benefits (is considered a whole grain, is a complete protein, gluten-free, and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals). For my husband, who doesn't like brown rice, this makes a great substitute, and he loves it!" — Brittany Poulson, MDA, RDN, CD, CDE

"Quinoa and farro both provide an easy-to-prep high-fiber source of carbohydrates for my meals. These are easy-to-prep bases for healthy meals when time is tight. Sometimes I prep a batch of the cooked grain on a Sunday to scoop into my meals throughout the week." — Rachel Fine, MS, RD, owner of To the Pointe Nutrition


"I love having dried fruit like raisins on hand as a snack or to add to yogurt and oatmeal, and I find that Costco has a great variety of options, all for a reasonable price." — Elizabeth Kehoe


"My kids, who range in age from 3 to 10, all love this apple sauce." — Jodi Greebel


"Avocados are loved by many and can be utilized in so much more than avocado toast, like smoothies, guacamole, salad toppers. The huge benefit to buying them in bulk is you can freeze them to prevent them from going bad. You can't beat the price." — Emily Wetzel


"Black bean burgers are an amazing nonmeat protein source. They can be used in quesadillas, as toppers for healthy nachos, on top of a salad, or as part of a soup." — Emily Wetzel


"We can't live without the Kirkland Dried Tart Cherries from Costco. We add them to everything: granola bars, yogurt, oatmeal, overnight oats, chia pudding, and trail mix. They also are amazing frozen! Tart cherries are crazy high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory polyphenols, making them an excellent superhero against oxidative stress, inflammation, and muscle damage from strenuous exercise." — Meghann Featherstun, MS, RD


"Chickpeas are so versatile, making them a must-have in my kitchen. I use them to make a quick hummus or roasted chickpea snack, toss them in stir-fries, or add them to soups or salads. The high-quality plant protein helps keep you feeling satisfied on fewer calories and no saturated fat, and it's inexpensive — a win-win-win for your heart, waistline, and wallet!" — Laura Yautz


"As a breakfast cookbook author, so many of my recipes for baked goods, mug cakes, pancakes, waffles, crepes, and more all use egg whites. I much prefer liquid egg whites so I don't have to waste the yolks. It's also helpful that the containers are each 16 ounces so they stay fresh longer than supermarket 32-ounce products." — Lauren Harris-Pincus, RDN

"I love buying cartons of liquid egg whites for making my egg white pizzas and high-protein enchiladas. If you make a large egg white omelet and top it with tomato sauce and cheese, it tastes similar to pizza and is much more filling. You can also eat more than one without losing sight of your weight-loss and fitness goals." — Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN in Los Angeles


"I try to buy bulk foods that are minimally processed. These save money and avoid unnecessary added sugar, salt, and preservatives, and they can be used in a lot of different ways. For frozen vegetables, I usually buy mixed veggies, broccoli, and anything else that looks good." — Lisa Hugh, MSHS, RD, LDN


"I love to stock up on nutritious jarred items like hearts of palm. Hearts of palm are great when eaten whole, like string cheese, or chopped up in salads. They can get expensive if you buy the small ones, but you get a great deal when you buy them in bulk. Sometimes I open and drain a jar and drizzle balsamic vinegar over them. It's a quick, filling snack that's under 80 calories and mostly fiber." — Ilana Muhlstein


"These single-serving cups of hummus are perfect for sending in school lunches." — Jodi Greebel


"Perfect for lunchtime snacks or a weekend snack board." — Jodi Greebel


"Dried plums are a fabulous fruit to support regularity and bone health. I keep a huge bag in my freezer and eat them one at a time. The texture is amazing, and they taste like a frozen treat." — Lauren Harris-Pincus


"The big bags of frozen stir-fry vegetables make healthy weeknight meals a breeze for me. I keep them on hand at all times. Just heat some toasted sesame oil in a pan and sauté some garlic and grated ginger. Add the vegetables and soy sauce and sauté another few minutes until warmed through. Add any cooked protein you want and you're done. Healthy dinner in about 15 minutes!" — Laura Yautz


"I always purchase large containers of nonfat Greek yogurt to keep handy in the back of the fridge and to make my 'Wonder Whips.' Those containers sometimes last a month because they are lower in water content and more concentrated in protein. For my (guilt-free) Wonder Whips, I simply mix the yogurt with a splash of almond milk, stevia, cinnamon, and coconut extract for a yummy, quick, and healthy dessert." — Ilana Muhlstein

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