Your Grocery Guide for a Healthier Heart

Eat Healthy

We know that a healthy diet can do wonders for our hearts, but what foods should we be putting in our grocery carts – and which should we be leaving on the shelves? 

When health care experts talk to patients about adopting a "heart-healthy diet," they often recommend focusing on adding more vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains, while limiting meats and dairy, as well as advocating use of unsaturated fats from seeds, nuts and olives. 

You may have heard of this diet referred to as the "Mediterranean diet" or as a "plant-based diet" – either way, the focus of this diet is on incorporating as many fresh, wholesome food choices as possible, while eliminating highly processed foods. 

Studies show that this combination helps reduce cardiovascular risk for conditions such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension, diabetes mellitus and high cholesterol. Due to the diet being low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and high in fiber, it has been associated with weight loss, lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and even lowering glucose in those with diabetes. 

Experts advise sticking to the perimeter of the grocery store, where most of the fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats are. 

Also, don't fall for healthy claims on food labels. For example, many highly processed foods like Oreos and Twinkies are considered vegan. Read the ingredient list instead. 

Remember that there is so much more out there than salad, grilled chicken breast, broiled fish and brown rice. Explore different grains like farro, a hearty, nutty grain that adds substance to salads or acts as a good standalone in the main meal.

Or get creative with your heart-healthy diet by exploring new food options and recipes, like this Tex-Mex Tortilla Pie, which uses whole beans in place of ground beef or refried beans to reduce the amount of total fat, saturated fat and cholesterol in the dish. 

Ready to get shopping?

Download this list and use as a guide for your next trip to the grocery store. Don’t feel like you have to check off every item – pick and choose the foods that fit your preferences, and feel free to experiment with new, healthy choices!

Download the PDFs for our “Healthier Grocery List” to take with you on your next trip to the market. 

Don’t feel like you have to check off every item – pick and choose the foods that fit your preference best, experiment with new choices, and most importantly, have fun!



Published on: February 15, 2024