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The Best Trader Joe's Products For Weight Loss

Trader Joe's private-label products are top quality and affordable—and they can also help you slim down!
Trader Joe's store exterior

We know the popular supermarket chain avoids marketing their products, and that may be why countless hidden health gems secretly lurk on TJ's shelves. We're here to uncover them for you with our ultimate Trader Joe's shopping list.

What makes the chain's private label so impressive? It's the fact that the discount supermarket develops their products to fit high quality standards. Every product is free of artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, MSG, added trans fats, dairy ingredients from cows injected with rBST hormones, and genetically modified ingredients (GMO-free)—all things that tend to make foods a "Not That!".

Those high standards make Trader Joe's products an impressive alternative to pricier specialty stores. And because the chain is always on top of food trends and health news, they're continually introducing new products. That's why we've rifled through to find the best weight loss foods Trader Joe's has to offer. These aren't too-good-to-be-true deals: you really can get healthy must-haves on the cheap. So take this list with you next time you go grocery shopping.


Organic Sprouted Tricolor Quinoa

organic sprouted tricolor quinoa trader joes
Courtesy of Trader Joe's

Per ⅓ cup (51 g): 210 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 37 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 6 g protein

There's only one grain that has all nine essential amino acids and can be classified as a complete protein, and that's quinoa. Trader Joe's already sells organic bags of this superfood, but their newest is the first sprouted version to hit shelves. This just means the quinoa seeds were watered and allowed to start growing, and according to a meta-analysis in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, sprouting grains like this for a limited period can improve the content of their vitamins and amino acids, delivering maximum nutrition. So grab as many bags of this tricolor quinoa as you can carry.

$2.99 at most stores.


Organic Herbal Flavored Waters

trader joes organic herbal flavored waters

Per container (16.9 fl oz): 0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g protein

If you're addicted to drinking detox water, Trader Joe's is here to make your routine a little easier. Instead of shoving fruit slices into your water bottle, now you can simply pick up a calorie-free Herbal Flavored Water at the store. With no sugar added, these lemon ginger and lemongrass spearmint drinks are made up only of purified water and organic extracts. One look at the nutrition label, and you'll know you're getting a lot of added flavor without any added consequence.

$0.99 at most stores.


Avocado Citrus Greek Whole Milk Yogurt

avocado greek yogurt trader joes

Per container (150 g): 190 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (< 1 g fiber, 15 g sugar), 11 g protein

Here are two words you've probably never seen together — avocado yogurt. Made with whole milk, blood orange concentrate, and cane sugar, this uniquely flavored Greek yogurt is packed with calcium and muscle-building protein. And while it's got more sugar and fat than some of our favorite brands, like Chobani and Oikos, it can't hurt to mix up your breakfast every once in awhile with a fun flavor.

$0.99 at most stores.


Cauliflower Pizza Crust

trader joes cauliflower pizza crust

Per ⅙ crust (50 g): 80 calories, 0 g fat, 220 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (1 g fiber, < 1 g sugar), 1 g protein

You may be gluten-free or just looking to cut carbs, but either way, you're going to wish Trader Joe's had released cauliflower pizza crust sooner. This gem clocks in at just 80 calories a slice, and you can thank the pizza's base for that. While most crusts of this kind are held together with eggs or cheese, Trader Joe's uses cornstarch, potato starch, olive oil, and sea salt to keep theirs together. The nutty, riced cauliflower will be great at absorbing the flavors in the ingredients around it, so the sky's the limit when it comes to toppings. You can pile them on without piling on the pounds!

$3.99 at most stores.


Mashed Cauliflower

trader joes mashed cauliflower

Per 1 cup (112 g): 50 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 270 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 2 g protein

Cauliflower chunks and bits team up in this new dish for a creamy, yet textured dish that can rival any bowl of mashed potatoes with just a fraction of the carbs. Seventy percent of it is made up of the white veggie, while the rest contains recognizable ingredients like skim milk, white pepper, and rice flour. Use it as a side dish for all kinds of different meals or cook up a bigger bowl with mix-ins of your choice.

$2.99 at most stores.


Sweet & Salty Granola Bars

trader joes sweet salty granola bars

Per 1 bar (35 g): 160 calories, 7 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 115 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (4 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 3 g protein

For when you need that pick-me-up to hold you over until lunch, Trader Joe's has released Sweet & Salty Granola Bars to snack on. Almonds, rolled oats, and crisp rice are combined with molasses and savory nut butters in this bar and coated in Greek yogurt to satisfy all cravings. With so much to offer, you might be afraid to peek at the nutrition label, but don't worry. While we will admit that there are healthier options out there in terms of fat and sugar, this one balanced with enough fiber and protein to gain our approval.

$2.69 at most stores.


Organic Coconut Aminos Seasoning Sauce

trader joes organic coconut aminos seasoning sauce

Per 1 tbsp (15 mL): 20 calories, 0 g fat, 300 mg sodium, 5 carbs (0 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 0 g protein

What do you get when you mix the sap from a coconut blossom with water and sea salt? Surprisingly enough, a slightly sweeter soy sauce replacement for anyone looking to cut back on their sodium intake while ingesting 13 different amino acids, all at the same time. (For reference, regular soy sauces can clock in at upwards of 900 milligrams of sodium per tablespoon!)

$2.99 at most stores.


Just a Handful of Rainbow's End Trail Mix

trader joes rainbows end trail mix

Per 1 bag (43 g): 210 calories, 13 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (2 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 5 g protein

While this trail mix may not be new to Trader Joe's, its packaging is. Before, you'd have to dig into the bag if you wanted a snack and trust yourself to have enough self-control to stop eating once you'd reached a single serving. But now, this mix of milk chocolate candies (made with no artificial coloring), roasted and salted peanuts and almonds, and California raisins, is prepackaged into one-ounce bags. This isn't just convenient to throw in your bag, but a smart way to stop yourself from eating too much. Each serving is 210 calories, 13 grams of fat, and 16 grams of sugar after all.

$4.99 at most stores.


Matcha Green Tea

trader joes matcha green tea

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Per 1 can (245 mL): 0 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 1 g carb (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein

Further down on this list, you'll see that Trader Joe's recently began selling matcha green tea powder, but now they've got another option for those in a rush — cans of the stuff that you can chill and crack open with much less effort. So if you're as addicted to this trendy flavor as everyone else, adding this cheap drink to your Trader Joe's shopping list won't do any damage to your bank account or your scale. It's free of calories, sugar, and fat — talk about a triple threat.

$0.99 at most stores.


Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Spread

trader joes sunflower seed spread

Per 2 tbsp (32 g): 210 calories, 16 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 7 g protein

Trader Joe's original Sunflower Seed Butter only had 3 grams of sugar, but if even that small amount was enough to scare you off, try their new unsweetened version. It only has a single gram of sugar, and it comes naturally from the seeds themselves. We're going nuts for it because it's also slightly lower in sodium with the same amount of protein and a shorter ingredients list, consisting of just roasted sunflower seeds and salt.

$4.99 at most stores.


Oven-Baked Cheese Bites

Per 1/2 package (30 g): 170 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 310 mg sodium, < 1 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 15 g protein

Unlike carb-laden Cheez-Its, Trader Giotto's Oven-Baked Cheese Bites are a low-carb snacktime dream come true. Made with a blend of Grana Padano and semi-aged cheese, these crunchy little bites are boldly cheesy and jam-packed with a staggering 15 grams of protein per serving. Say hello to muscle mass and goodbye to a stalled metabolism.

$2.49 at most stores.


Oatmeal Cups

Strawberry Raspberry Oatmeal Cup
Per 1 container (57 g): 220 calories, 3.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 38 g carbs (6 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 9 g protein

Tart Cherry Chia Oatmeal Cup
Per 1 container (57 g): 230 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 80 mg sodium, 36 g carbs (6 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 9 g protein

Take one glance at our list of best and worst instant oatmeals and you'll see how impressive these oatmeal cups are. Not only are they low in sugar, but they're high in fiber and protein, two macronutrients that have some serious staying power. Eat one, and you won't be constantly watching the clock waiting for lunchtime.

$1.29 at most stores.


Mixed Nut Butter

Per 2 tbsp (32 g): 190 calories, 18 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 35 mg sodium, 7 g carbs (2 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

Why settle for one nut butter when you can reap the benefits of several in one jar? Each nut provides different health benefits: According to a study printed in The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, almonds can help you burn more fat and carbs during workouts thanks to being rich in the amino acid L-arginine; walnuts are one of the best sources of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids; and just a single Brazil nut contains your daily recommended intake of selenium, a micronutrient that helps you maintain metabolism health. Besides essentially acting like a multivitamin, this spread has no added sweeteners and no added oils, unlike some of the worst nut butters.

$5.99 at most stores.


Organic King Coconut Water

Per container (11.16 fl oz): 45 calories, 0 g fat, 95 mg sodium, 11 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 1 g protein

There's only one ingredient in this coconut water: coconut water. It doesn't sound surprising, but compared to what other brands tend to add to their containers (including emulsifiers, stabilizers, and sugar), it's actually quite impressive. Even better: TJ's keeps the sugar count per serving to a mere 8 grams—which is a whopping 40% lower than leading brands. We love sipping on coconut water after workouts as an alternative to sugary sports beverages since it's teeming with the hydrating and muscle-soothing electrolyte potassium.

$1.19 at most stores.


Chicken Burrito Bowl

Per bowl (330 g): 380 calories, 11 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 560 mg sodium, 54 g carbs (10 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 22 g protein

This hearty bowl of seasoned chicken breast, brown rice, red quinoa, black beans, corn, bell peppers, and cheddar cheese is the late-night worker's dream. The smoky southwestern-style meal is well-rounded—with 22 grams of protein and an excellent 10 grams of fiber—and will help you meet all of your better-body goals. Add it to your Trader Joe's shopping list pronto.

$3.49 at most stores.


Matcha Green Tea

Per packet (1.5 g): 5 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g protein

Looking to fry belly flab? You've come to the right place. Matcha green tea is a primo source of EGCG, a powerful antioxidant that research has shown to boost metabolism and promote the release of lipids from fat cells. Add a packet to a cup of warm water, or steep it cold for a refreshing drink.

$6.99 for 7 packets at most stores.


Organic Toasted Coconut Granola

Per 1/3 cup (30 g): 130 calories, 5 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (2 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 3 g protein

This granola is made from a blend of rolled oats, coconut flakes, roasted almonds, and quinoa, all bound together with a light layer of coconut oil and touch of cane sugar. For a generous ⅓ cup serving, you're only consuming 6 grams of sugar, which is fairly low considering some brands pack in upward of 12 grams.

$3.99 at most stores.


Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar

Per 1 bar (57 g / 2 oz): 330 calories, 21 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (4 g fiber, 21 g sugar), 4 g protein

Although we typically recommend choosing a dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa solids or higher to reap the antioxidant benefits, we couldn't pass up this milk chocolate bar. It makes up for the lost cacao antioxidants with a heaping serving of anti-inflammatory compounds from the warm blend of spices like ginger, turmeric, cardamom and black pepper. And unlike other milk chocolate bars that are high in sugar, TJ's cuts the sugar by adding volume to the bar with crisped quinoa.

$1.49 at most stores.


Organic Chocolate Chip Chewy Granola Bars

Per bar (24 g): 100 calories, 2.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 2 g protein

Looking for a snack that will satisfy your hunger pangs without sending your blood sugar through the roof? Allow us to introduce you to your snacking savior. It has just the right amount of carbs to give your brain the energy boost it needs without flooding your system with sugar. Snacking helps to maintain your blood sugar levels throughout the day, which keeps you from overeating out of starvation at your next meal.

$2.49 for 8 bars at most stores.


Organic Kabocha Squash

Per 2/3 cup (85 g): 30 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 8 g carbs (2 g fiber, 3 g sugar), < 1 g protein

Trader Joe's takes all the work out of preparing a raw Kabocha squash, which—trust us—is not a fun way to spend a Thursday night after a long day at the office. For only 30 calories, you get a serving of veggies that provides 90 percent of your recommended daily intake of vitamin A: an antioxidant vitamin that plays a role in regulating your immune system. Immune-boosting vitamin A is one of our secret weight loss weapons because since sick people rarely have enough energy to delegate to weight-loss efforts.

$2.69 at most stores.


All photos courtesy of Trader Joe's.


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Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is a senior editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more