Skip left side navigation and go to content

Woman pushing shopping cart in grocery store

Low-Calorie Shopping List

We live in a fast-moving world. To reduce the time you spend in the kitchen, you can improve your organization by using a shopping list and keeping a well-stocked pantry. Shop for quick, low-fat food items, and fill your kitchen cupboards with a supply of low-calorie basics.

Read labels as you shop. Pay attention to the serving size and the servings per container. All labels list total calories in a serving size of the product. Compare the total calories in the product you choose with others like it; choose the one that is lowest in calories. Below is a sample Nutrition Facts label that identifies important information.

Sample Cereal Label

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 C (53g/1.9 oz)
Servings Per Container About 8
Amount Per Serving  
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 25
    % Daily Value **
Total Fat 3g*
  Saturated Fat 0g
  Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 95mg
Postassium 300mg
Total Carbohydrate 36g
Dietary Fiber 8g
Soluble Fiber 3g  
Insoluble Fiber 5g  
Sugars 13g  
Protein 9g
Vitamin A  
Vitamin C  

* Amount in Cereal. One half cup of fat free milk contributes an additional 40 calories, 65mg sodium, 6g total carbohydrates (6g sugars), and 4g protein.

** Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs:

  Calories: 2,000 2,500
Total Fat Less Than 65g 80g

Sat. Fat

Less Than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less Than 300mg 300mg
Sodium Less Than 2,400mg 2,400mg
Potassium   3,500mg 3,500mg
Total Carbohydrate   300g 375g

Dietary Fiber

  25g 30g
Protein   50g 65g


Healthy Weight Tip

Prepare a list of the groceries you need ahead of time and stick to the list when you go to the store. This will keep you focused and can help prevent any spur of the moment, high calorie purchases.

Learning From the Label

  1. First, look at the serving size and number of servings.
  2. Then, look at calories, total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium per serving.
  3. The "% Daily Value" shows you how much of the recommended amounts the food provides in one serving, if you eat 2,000 calories a day. For example, one serving of this food gives you 5 percent of your total fat recommendation.
  4. At the bottom of the label, you can see the recommended daily amount for each nutrient for two calorie levels (2,000 and 2,500 calorie diets)
Skip footer links and go to content