Eating heart healthy starts with a plan and a list, and the American Heart Association (AHA) has great tools to help you take the guesswork out of shopping for heart healthy foods. They’ve made it easy for everyone who shops to create a sensible eating plan, and they’ve done it with a graphic design called the Heart-Check Mark. This recognizable logo is found on foods that meet their criteria for cholesterol and saturated fat and are considered heart healthy.
Fruit skewers look yummy ☺ pic.twitter.com/lyqBRetLCh
What Criteria Must Foods Meet to be Certified?
The AHA has set nutritional levels (determined by serving size) that foods must meet to be certified. These levels apply to the the total fat, saturated fat and trans fat in each food, along with the food’s cholesterol, sodium, nutrients, whole grain content, minimum dietary fiber and whole oat soluble fiber content. There’s a comprehensive chart on the AHA website that details all this information along with foods they don’t certify.
How to Food Shop With a Heart Healthy Grocery List
This tool makes planning and shopping for heart healthy foods a breeze. My Grocery List lists categories of food and once you click on a category, a list of certified food products from various manufacturers are displayed. Enter the quantity of each item you want to purchase and it’s saved to your own personal shopping list.
Complete your list by choosing the foods you want from each category; there’s even room to add staples such as paper towels and cleaning products so you don’t have to have two separate lists. After you’ve created your heart healthy grocery list (you can even save it for future shopping trips), simply print it out and take it to the supermarket with you. No more wondering and wandering to find heart healthy foods.
Heart Healthy Foods Display the Heart-Check Mark
The AHA has thought of everything to make heart healthy grocery shopping easy. Take a look at the food categories where they’ve put there Heart-Check Mark:
- canned meat and poultry
- canned/pouched foods
- canned soup
- cheese products
- cold and hot cereal
- deli counter (bulk)
- dried fruit
- egg products
- fresh meat and poultry
- frozen juices, meat, poultry and seafood
- cow and soy milks
- oatmeal and other dry mixes
- pancakes and waffles
- prepackaged foods
- rice and beans
- sauces, pastes and purees
- stocks and broths
- vegetables (canned and packaged)
Browse around the AHA site for rock solid nutritional information, cooking tips, and dining out suggestions. Here’s how to get started: think about what you want to achieve, browse the AHA site and make your first heart healthy grocery list. The best way to make big changes is with small baby steps. Take your first one today.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be used for diagnosis or to guide treatment without the opinion of a health professional. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a doctor for advice. Anyone with a medical condition such as high blood pressure, please contact your physician or registered dietitian before making changes in your diet.