Heart-healthy foods: Shopping list for good eating

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Health & Wellness

Published on January 30, 2019 with No Comments

When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:

Eat less saturated fats. Cut back on fatty meats, high-fat dairy, cakes, cookies, and butter. This includes pizza, burgers, and foods with creamy sauce or gravy.

Cut down on sodium (salt). Read the Nutrition Facts label and choose foods that are lower in sodium. Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, packaged meals, snack foods, and lunch meats.

Get more fiber. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to add fiber to your diet.

Take this list with you the next time you go food shopping.

Vegetables and Fruits

Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Buy vegetables and fruits that are fresh, frozen, canned, or dried.

Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, and carrots

Leafy greens for salads, like Romaine lettuce, spinach, and kale

Canned vegetables that are low in sodium

Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces, like broccoli or cauliflower

Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches

Canned, frozen, or dried fruit without added sugars

Farmer’s markets are great places to buy vegetables and fruits in season. Search for a market near you.


Look for fat-free or low-fat options.

Fat-free or low-fat (1-percent) milk

Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt

Fat-free or low-fat cheese

Fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese

Soymilk with added calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D

Breads, Cereals, and Other Grains

For products with more than 1 ingredient, make sure whole wheat or another whole grain is listed first in the ingredient list. Look for products that say 100-percent whole grain.

Whole-grain bread, bagels, English muffins, and tortillas

Whole-grain hot or cold breakfast cereals with no added sugar, like oatmeal or shredded wheat

Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, quinoa, or barley

Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta and couscous

Protein Foods

Choose a variety of foods with protein.

Seafood: fish and shellfish

Poultry: chicken or turkey breast without skin, lean ground chicken or turkey (at least 93-percent lean)

Pork: leg, shoulder, or tenderloin

Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, or lean ground beef (at least 93-percent lean)

Beans and peas, like kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas, and lentils


Unsalted nuts and seeds

Nut butters, like almond or peanut butter


Fats and Oils

Cut back on saturated fat and look for products with no transfats. Choose foods with unsaturated fats like seafood, nuts, seeds, avocados, and oils.

Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no transfats and less saturated fats

Vegetable oil (canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, or sunflower)

Non-stick cooking spray

Lower-calorie mayonnaise

Salad dressings that are oil based

Avoid coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils, which are all high in saturated fat.

For more information about shopping for heart-healthy foods, visit: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/DGA_Cut-Down-On-Sodium.pdfor https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/resources/DGA_Cut-Down-On-Saturated-Fats.pdf.

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