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How to make a heart-healthy grocery list

Person grocery shopping.

/ by Shorus Minella, RD, LD

The Cardio Cuisine series is written by Shorus Minella, a dietitian at the UK Gill Heart & Vascular Institute.

Did you know that February is heart health month? Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. About 647,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, which is about 1 in every 4 deaths. 

Help prevent heart disease and lower your risk of a cardiac event by making some small heart-healthy changes to your current grocery list:

  1. Remember your fruits and vegetables. The minimum recommended amounts are 2 cups a day of fruit and 2 ½ cups a day of vegetables. Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals including antioxidants that help keep your heart healthy.
  2. Make the whole grain switch. If you eat rice, pasta or other foods from the grains group, try the whole grain versions. Whole grains typically come with more heart-healthy fiber than their non-whole grain, more processed counterparts.
  3. Include more lean meat. Chicken, turkey and fish are the most common lean proteins. Pay attention to the word “loin” as it guides you towards leaner cuts of meat, e.g. pork loin or sirloin.
  4. When you need cooking oil, get olive oil or canola oil. These oils have the least amount of saturated fats.
  5. Buy the low sodium version of your favorite brands.
  6. Don’t forget the snacks! Add heart-healthy snacks like nuts and seeds. They add good unsaturated fat with Omega-3s that reduce your risk of heart disease.

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