NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Heart Healthy Grocery Shopping

Heart Healthy Grocery Shopping 

 

                While it’s generally healthier and cheaper to buy groceries at the store and prepare your meals at home, sometimes the sheer number of food choices at the supermarket can seem overwhelming.  Here are some tips to help you be heart-smart at the grocery store and choose good-for-you foods.

                Be sure to buy and eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.  Stock up on raw vegetables for snacks such as carrot and celery sticks, broccoli, cherry tomatoes and cauliflower

                When fresh foods aren't available, choose frozen or canned vegetables and fruits in water without added sugars, saturated and trans fat, or salt.

                 For desserts, buy fresh or canned fruits (in water without added sugars), dried fruit (without added sugars), and gelatin that contains fruit, instead of baked goods and sweets.

                When you use oils for cooking, baking or in dressings or spreads, choose the ones lowest in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol — including canola oil, corn oil, olive oil, safflower oil, sesame oil, soybean oil and sunflower oil.

 Buy a nonstick pan or use nonstick vegetable spray when cooking.

                Select fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk.  Avoid milk that contains added flavorings such as vanilla, chocolate or strawberry. They usually have added sugars and calories.

                Choose fat-free, low-fat or reduced-fat cheeses.

                Choose whole-grain, high-fiber breads, such as those containing whole wheat, oats, oatmeal, whole rye, whole grain corn and buckwheat. Choose breads and other foods that list whole grains as the first item in the ingredient list.

                Limit the amount of bakery products you purchase, including doughnuts, pies, cakes and cookies. Look instead for fat-free or low-fat and low-sodium varieties of crackers, snack chips, cookies and cakes. Buy and prepare more fish. You should eat one serving of grilled or baked fish at least twice a week. (A serving is roughly the size of a checkbook.) Good examples of fish to buy include salmon, trout and herring.

                When buying or eating poultry, choose the leaner light meat (breasts) rather than the fattier dark meat (legs and thighs). Try the skinless version or remove the skin yourself.

                 Select more meat substitutes such as dried beans, peas, lentils or tofu (soybean curd) and use them as entrees or in salads and soups. A one-cup serving of cooked beans, peas, lentils or tofu can replace a two-ounce serving of meat, poultry or fish.

                Pick up nuts and seeds, which are good sources of protein and polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats – but remember, they tend to be high in calories, so eat them in moderation.

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