Anything in your refrigerator that has fruits or vegetables in it, will lower heart disease. You need 9+ servings of colorful fruits and vegetables every day, which supply fiber to lower cholesterol, vitamins to lower a chemical in the blood called homocysteine, and antioxidants to protect your arteries from damage associated with atherosclerosis. Few topics in nutrition are black and white, but when it comes to produce 1,000s of studies spanning decades of research repeatedly and consistently show that the more produce people consume, the lower their risk for all age-related diseases, including heart disease. Bagged lettuce such as one of the 38 varieties of Dole, carrots – baby or otherwise, and almost any other colorful vegetable you have in your produce bin fits the bill. Since the antioxidants are in the pigment…the more pigment, the more antioxidants, including spinach, sweet potatoes, oranges, bagged romaine lettuce, broccoli, and tomato or V8 juice. Stock produce in different stages of ripeness so they are ready to eat when you are.

That carton of Tropicana orange juice, the carton of Driscoll berries, the jar of minced garlic from Costco, and even the rubber lemon filled with juice are heart healthy options, as is the watermelon loaded with lycopene. You even can keep a carton of eggs on hand (everyone except diabetics can have up to one egg a day). As for cheese, it now surpasses red meat as this country’s #1 source of artery-clogging saturated fat. To reduce this bad fat and still enjoy your favorite recipes, you do your heart well to stock low-fat cheeses, preferably ones with omega-3 fats. Look for butter substitutes with stanols and sterols known to help lower blood cholesterol levels (however, you’ll need to consume 3 Tablespoons daily to get enough stanols to lower cholesterol levels..and the calories can add up).