Americans have plenty of choices when it comes to where they can buy their meal prep staples. So much so that over 38,000 supermarkets spanned the nation back in 2018, according to a report by the Progressive Grocer.
Aldi is definitely part of the many supermarket choices here in the U.S. and this German-founded retailer's only growing more popular by the minute: Aldi is slated to become America's third-largest grocery chain by 2022.
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The affordable supermarket has several exclusive brands that cater to a variety of different eating plans, so we asked three dietitians to break down exactly what to buy at Aldi — whether it's your first time shopping or if you're looking for new items to add to your fridge or pantry.
1. Simply Nature Organic Whole Milk Plain Yogurt
Whether you dress your morning yogurt with fiber-rich granola or keep things simple with berries and a drizzle of honey, Aldi's organic whole-milk plain yogurt is a must-have.
"Aldi's Simply Nature organic yogurt is creamy, high in protein and chock-full of important nutrients like calcium," Lauren Manaker, RDN, LD, says. "Plus, this 32-ounce tub is much more economical than buying single-serve yogurts, allowing you to save more money in the long run."
And the probiotic content of yogurt is equally pretty impressive: Regularly enjoying probiotic-rich foods (such as yogurt) is linked to increased innate immunity and enhancement of gut-associated immunity, according to a May 2014 study published in The American Journal of Nutrition.
- Nutrition facts per serving (3/4 cup): 120 calories, 6 grams of fat (3.5 grams of saturated fat), 80 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 10 grams of sugar), 6 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $2.69 per 32-ounce container
2. Simply Nature Chia Seeds
If you're looking to give your salads, smoothies or oatmeal a punch full of nutrition, registered dietitian nutritionist Emily Villaseca, RDN, says that chia seeds are full of heart-healthy fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.
Since chia seeds are rich in plant-based protein, Villaseca suggests they can easily be added to tasty snacks and dessert dishes in order to pump up your intake. "The fiber, fat and protein will help keep you feeling full without impacting your blood sugar," she says.
Next time you have the munchies, try whipping up this chia pudding recipe, which packs 9 grams of protein and includes antioxidant-rich berries.
- Nutrition facts per serving (2 tablespoons): 150 calories, 10 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat), 0 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs (10 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar), 6 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $3.99 per bag
3. Simply Nature Ground Flaxseed
Much like chia seeds, Villaseca also recommends grabbing some flax seeds at Aldi because they contain an impressive amount of fiber and omega-3s.
"Ground flax seeds is a versatile plant-based protein source you can easily add to anything from oatmeal to smoothies without affecting flavor," she explains.
Plus, adding these seeds to your daily diet is linked to a reduced risk of developing certain diseases including heart disease, diabetes and arthritis, according to a January 2014 study published in the Journal of Food Science and Technology.
- Nutrition facts per serving (4 tablespoons): 170 calories, 12 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat), 20 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of carbs (7 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar), 6 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $2.29 per bag
Read more: 11 Target Groceries Dietitians Swear By
4. Simply Nature Knock Your Sprouts Off Sprouted 7-Grain Low-Sodium Bread
If you love Ezekiel bread, Aldi's version is sure to become your wallet's new favorite. It contains minimal ingredients while providing a healthy helping of fiber for just $2.99 a loaf.
"The nutrients in sprouted grains are more bioavailable than those in traditional whole grains, while still providing healthy fiber with minimal ingredients," Villaseca says. "One slice has just 70 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 3 grams of protein."
If you are looking for some easy cooking inspiration, Villaseca recommends using sprouted-grain bread to make a delicious avocado toast for breakfast or stack this smashed chickpea club sandwich, which is full of delicious flavor and 21 grams of protein.
- Nutrition facts per serving (1 slice): 70 calories, 0 grams of fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 70 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbs (3 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar), 3 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $2.99 per loaf
5. Simply Nature Organic 100% Grass-Fed Ground Beef
Great for DIY meatballs, chili or burgers, Aldi's Simply Nature grass-fed beef is raised and prepared without antibiotics, hormones, preservatives or nitrates.
Vilaseca advises taking the time to check your labels carefully. "Grass-fed doesn't guarantee products are lean or low in sodium, so don't ignore the nutrition facts label," she explains. "However, these meat-quality indicators are another factor to consider when building a healthy diet."
- Nutritional facts per serving (4 4-ounce servings): 240 calories, 17 grams of fat (6 grams of saturated fat), 75 milligrams of sodium, 0 grams of carbs (0 grams of fiber, 0 grams of sugar), 21 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $5.29 per pound
6. Earth Grown Quinoa Crunch Veggie Burger
Aldi's veggie burgers are a great choice for your next #meatlessmonday lunch or dinner, as they're pretty low in calories and boast a minimal ingredient list to boot.
These veggie burgers pack in quinoa, a solid source of heart-healthy fiber. Most of the fiber in quinoa is insoluble fiber, which can help relieve constipation, according to a January 2015 study published in Food Chemistry.
- Nutritional facts per serving (1 burger): 180 calories, 10 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat), 290 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbs (6 grams of fiber, 1 gram of sugar), 4 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $3.59 per box
7. Simply Nature Classic Hummus
Aldi's creamy hummus is a win-win for both your health and wallet: It contains 70 calories per serving and clocks in under $3.
"Hummus can be used as a dip with veggies or whole-grain crackers or as a spread in sandwiches and wraps," registered dietitian Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN, tells us.
However you decide to spread it, there's no denying that eating chickpeas — the main ingredient in hummus — is good for you. People who eat chickpeas regularly tend to have higher nutrient intakes of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C and E, folate, iron and magnesium, a December 2016 study published in the journal Nutrients suggests.
Researchers add that eating chickpea-rich foods such as hummus is tied to helping prevent (or offset) the development and progression of chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes, making it more than OK to spread this good stuff on everything.
- Nutritional facts per serving (2 tablespoons): 70 calories, 5 grams of fat (1 gram of saturated fat), 125 milligrams of sodium, 4 grams of carbs (1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar), 2 grams of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $2.99 per tub
8. Simply Nature Frozen Blueberries
Frozen blueberries can be added to smoothies or made into homemade low-sugar jams. And even though these bagged berries are frozen, Kostro Miller explains that it doesn't compromise their amazing health benefits.
"Frozen fruit tends to hold all the same nutrition as fresh fruit, but the best part is that it doesn't go bad as quickly as fresh fruit," she says. "Since these are plain, organic blueberries, they only have 70 calories per serving and tons of plant-based nutrition."
What's more, blueberries are relatively low in calories and tied to anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and vasoprotective effects on the body, according to a July 2019 study published in the Advances in Nutrition journal. This makes them great for a quick snack or a nutritious breakfast when paired with plain yogurt.
Nutritional facts per serving (1 cup):
70 calories, 1 gram of fat (0 grams of saturated fat), 0 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbs (4 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar), less than 1 gram of protein
Buy it: Aldi.com; Price: $2.89 per container
Read more: The 20 Best Foods in Your Grocery Store
- The American Journal of Nutrition: "Yogurt: role in healthy and active aging"
- Journal of Food Science and Technology: "Flax and flaxseed oil: an ancient medicine & modern functional food"
- Nutrients: "The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus"
- Advances in Nutrition: "Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins"
- Food Chemistry: "Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa W.) and amaranth (Amaranthus caudatus L.) provide dietary fibres high in pectic substances and xyloglucans"
- Progressive Grocer: "85th Annual Report of the Grocery Industry"
- Aldi Growth Announcement: "ALDI Ramps Up US Expansion with Goal of 2,500 Stores by End of 2022"