The 6 Healthiest Grocery Stores


Do you want to change your diet, cut back on sugar or soda, eat more whole foods, or go organic? If you do, you're definitely not alone. At least 8% of Americans resolve to eat better every year.

In fact, eating better is actually a goal I've made before and one that I know is difficult. Eating habits are hard to change, especially when you're in a hurry and you know what you like. Because changing how you eat means changing how you buy food and how you cook, it can be difficult to fit all of the time it takes to make these changes into a busy schedule.

Fortunately, you aren't working alone. Several grocery store chains have begun to actively promote healthy eating. Not sure where to start? Give one of these stores a try.

1. Kroger

The Kroger parent company not only owns the Kroger stores, but also stores branded as King Soopers, Fred Meyer, Harris Teeter, and more. This is good news, because it means that as long as you live in the continental United States, you probably have access to one.

This brand cares a lot about promoting healthy food. Every food in their stores has a NuVal number on the tag. This number, between 1 and 100, helps you judge the overall nutritional quality of a food. The higher the number, the more nutritional punch the food packs. Look for foods with good ratings, and you have a better chance of eating healthy.

Many Kroger stores also have dieticians who periodically lead tours of the stores (some of these tours are even designed for kids!). They might also hold short talks or Q&A sessions, where you can get some of your more pressing nutritional questions answered.

Kroger also promotes health in the community by donating quite a bit of fresh food — like produce and meat — to food banks. If you care, not only about your own nutrition, but about that of those who can't afford to shop in the grocery stores, giving Kroger your business can help promote these initiatives.

2. Whole Foods

It may not surprise you, but Whole Foods actively promotes healthy eating, too. Their main venue for doing so is through sponsoring and offering various educational opportunities that relate to nutrition and how to eat well. These can vary between different locations and even between individual stores. Ask your local store about cooking classes, lectures, and various tastings and pairings.

Whole Foods also offers a healthy eating specialist as part of their Health Starts Here! program. Sometimes this person teaches group classes, but many are available by appointment to show you how to achieve your nutritional goals via foods the store sells.

Finally, Whole Foods sponsors several 28-day challenges throughout the year. These are healthy eating intensives, complete with meal plans and support from other people doing the program at the same time.

3. Aldi

If you live in the UK, and don't have the American-based grocery chains, never fear! Aldi also actively promotes healthy eating. Most recently, they have removed candy, chocolates, and other sugar-filled treats from their checkout lines, replacing them instead with nuts, dried fruit, trail mixes, water, and other healthy goodies. This has been shown to help people make wiser snacking choices, simply because we often buy what is easily within reach. When those items are healthy, we eat better. (While Aldi also exists in some U.S. locations, I was unable to verify whether this program is in effect there, too.)

In addition, the Australian version of Aldi offers an entire website dedicated to helping kids eat well. This covers everything from healthy lunchbox options, to how to help picky eaters, to ideas for passing along behaviors towards food that are positive, rather than negative. If you have children who don't eat well, this could be a valuable resource (and it might help you pack your own lunch, too!).

4. Trader Joe's

If you are lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe's, check them out for some fun and healthy ideas. They offer a lot of convenience foods (like burritos you can heat up in the microwave and sweet potato fries that only need a few minutes in the oven before they're ready), and they have made a big effort to create healthier versions of these foods. Since many people feel like they don't have time to eat healthy, these foods can go far towards making this goal achievable.

It's important to note that not everything Trader Joe's sells is health food. They have a reputation for promoting healthy eating for a good reason, but you still have to make smart choices on your own. Cookies and pastries are still cookies and pastries, even when you by them at TJs!

5 & 6. Albertson's and Safeway

I lump these two together because, while neither chain has completely jumped onto the healthy eating bandwagon, they both offer their own in-house, organic brands. Albertson's has Wild Harvest, and Safeway has O Organics. While there's some question about whether eating organic food is actually healthier, it's nice to see these stores investing even a little bit in healthy eating. And if getting organic food is important to you, these brands are often cheaper than other organics!

Where do you like to buy your groceries? How do they promote making good food choices?

Like this article? Pin it!

Disclaimer: The links and mentions on this site may be affiliate links. But they do not affect the actual opinions and recommendations of the authors.

Wise Bread is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Guest's picture

There are definitely Aldi stores in the UK and other European countries. Also, it's a German company.

Guest's picture

Most of these stores are not available where I live (Maine). We do have a Trader Joes and a Whole Foods in Portland, but not the town where I live. We have grocery stores like Shaws and Hannaford. Hannaford is a favorite because they make an effort to have local produce available and they are decently priced. Whole Food or "whole paycheck" as we call it locally, is too expensive for me to shop weekly so I make that a special splurge a few times a year. Trader Joes is a must if I am in Portland already and want something different for dinner. I love their frozen section as they have a more unique selection than my local grocery store.

Guest's picture

Love, love, love Trader Joes