Costco isn’t exactly the foremost answer when asked which grocery chain sells the most healthy food items. But did you know that in 2017, Costco eclipsed Whole Foods in organic food sales? No joke.
In fact, more than 10% of all organics purchases right now are made at a Costco, according to Food Digital. And more than $1 out of every $10 spent on organic produce and packaged goods is spent within a Costco Wholesale warehouse.
That’s right, the home of the $1.50 hot dog and soda combo is also a great place to find some really nutritious foods—from whole to plant-based items. And even better? You can get them all in bulk.
So, if you’re looking to get or stay in shape, here are a few items to buy in bulk next time you’re at Costco that, according to nutrition experts, will give you the nutrients and energy your body needs. And for more, check out the 8 Costco Buys That Are Flying Off Shelves This Summer.
“Costco’s salad kits make it easy to create a healthy meal base since it comes with dressing and toppings (use as much or as little as you want),” says Carlene Thomas, RDN.”I pair mine with chicken or chickpeas on top to balance the bowl.”
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“Having a convenient, healthy ‘fast fix’ on hand is crucial for families,” says Thomas. “While cauliflower will just never be rice, I look at this stir fry as ‘lazy veg’ to pair with a protein and sauce. Lunch or dinner is done in 10 minutes!”
Related: One Major Side Effect of Eating Cauliflower
“Don’t get stuck on breakfast,” says Thomas. “These are 100% whole grain, gluten-free options with flax and chia that even the kids can make. They’re easy to customize with any seasonal fruit, jam, or nut butter, and perfect for taking to a cabin or beach house (no bowls or pans needed).”
Related: The Secret Oatmeal Trick for a Flat Belly, Says Dietitian
Thomas explains that the omega-3s in wild Alaska seafood can help improve heart health and are an especially smart choice for pregnant women since DHA is crucial for a baby’s development. “We also love Alaskan seafood since there are built-in, environmentally protective, and safety measures that come with fishing in Alaska per their constitution!”
If you didn’t already know this, Costco has great fruit. “I buy their red grapes and cut them into snack-sized ‘trees’ to store in the fridge for easy healthy options,” says Thomas. “Grapes are perfect for summer since they’re especially hydrating. You can even freeze them to bring to the beach or pool!”
Related: Secret Effects of Eating Grapes, Says Science
Before you go lambasting nut butters as high-fat junk food, nuts are an essential, healthy fat that you shouldn’t shy away from. Just make sure to look for brands that have no added sugar and are low-sodium. A big, ol’ bulk-sized jug will also last you a long time.
While it’s still preferable to drink regular water over coconut water, which contains calories and, in some cases, additional sugar, it’s a way better choice than some of the other electrolyte and sports drinks on the market.
For an active person who engages in high heart rate activity daily, coconut water can be a great way to replace fluid and electrolytes lost through sweat and carbohydrates that were burned as an energy source, experts say.
Related: What Happens to Your Body When You Drink Coconut Water
Sure, making your own hummus isn’t that hard. But if you’re short on time or want to enjoy it daily as a snack with veggies, buying store-bought versions make the whole process easier. Costco is known to have healthier brands of hummus, which can help you stick to a good-for-you eating plan.
For more, check out The Worst Costco Shopping Mistakes You Should Never Make.