The 4 Best New Summer Trader Joe's Products, According to an RD
Trader Joe's is already considered a go-to by many Americans, thanks to its unique and affordable selection of fresh produce, frozen foods, and snacks. Nevertheless, the grocery store chain continues to stock its store shelves season after season with brand-new products that surprise and delight even its most ardent fans.
Speaking of seasons, your body doesn't need to be fueled by unhealthy foods this summer. So what brand-new items at Trader Joe's are healthy enough to warrant a try?
Lucky for you, one of our Eat This, Not That! Medical Expert Board members took a closer look at the labels. According to Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND award-winning nutrition expert, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of The Family Immunity Cookbook, these four products are the best of the bunch. (For more on what to eat, here are The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.)
Spicy Kosher Dill Pickles
Yes, chips are a beloved staple at cookouts. However, there's another salty item at Trader Joe's with significantly fewer calories and fat. One serving of Lay's potato chips (which is about 15 chips) has 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 170 milligrams of sodium. Alternately, these spicy pickles from Trader Joe's have 5 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 180 milligrams of sodium.
"Pickles are a great way to add saltiness to your meal and for few calories," Amidor says, adding that the sodium in them isn't a bad thing. "Chomping on some pickles—especially if you work out a lot in the heat—can provide sodium, which is an electrolyte. "
FYI: Eating the pickles isn't the only way to attain these benefits. "You can also drink the pickle juice, which can help you get even more electrolytes and minimize food waste," Amidor adds.
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Vegan Cookies & Cream Vanilla Bean Bon Bons
I scream, you scream, we all scream for this ice cream! Yes, ice cream made Amidor's list. Why? It's a great way to sneak a summer treat without loading up on calories. One bonbon has 110 calories, 7 grams of fat, and 35 milligrams of sodium.
But there's one important catch, so listen up! "It should be noted that one serving also has 6g of saturated fat—or 30% of the daily recommended amount—so opt for half a portion or choose your other saturated fats wisely throughout the rest of the day," Amidor says.
Bloody Mary Salsa
This combo of tomatoes, horseradish, jalapeños, green chili peppers, Worcestershire sauce, capers, onions, lemon juice, and vinegar has 10 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 105 milligrams of sodium per serving.
What's so great about this healthy, new Trader Joe's item? The ingredient list (which excludes the vodka!). Though it seems long, it doesn't include any added sugars or saturated fat. Plus, the tomatoes provide a boost of an antioxidant called lycopene.
"Consuming lycopene-rich products, like this salsa, regularly has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and macular degeneration (poor eyesight as you age)," Amidor says.
Peruvian Bay Scallops
"Looking for very lean protein at a reasonable price? These bay scallops cook up in minutes and provide 17 grams of protein per 4-ounce serving," Amidor says. Indeed, about seven to 10 pieces have 100 calories, 0 grams of fat, and 90 milligrams of sodium.
"One misconception about seafood is the amount of cholesterol in it. Back in 2015, the USDA's dietary guidelines for Americans removed the amount of cholesterol limited per day as there is insufficient data to link high cholesterol in food to raising your blood cholesterol," Amidor explains. "It's saturated fat that has been linked to raising your LDL (aka bad) cholesterol, which is not found in bay scallops."
For more on what to get at TJ's, check out:
- 20 Best Trader Joe's Finds Under $5
- This Is America's #1 Favorite Trader Joe's Item
- We Tasted 10 Frozen Trader Joe's Appetizers & This Is the Best