Anything that follows one or more of the following 3 guidelines:
1. Key words: Look for key packaging clues, such as the word “healthy” in the title of a food, such as Campbell’s Healthy Request soups. Also look for foods that have the American Heart Association’s heart-check mark. To quality for this word or mark, a food must be low in fat and saturated fat, contain limited amounts of cholesterol and sodium, and also must provide at least 10% of one or more vitamins, minerals, or fiber. The Healthy Request soups also supply up to a serving or more of vegetables in every bowl, so you get a healthy item and help meet your daily quota of 9+ servings a day!! A bowl of Chunky Healthy Request soup, a slice of whole wheat bread, and a tossed salad made from one of the 38 bagged varieties from Dole is a quick-fix, heart healthy lunch or dinner. Also look for foods with the life’sDHA stamp on the container, which is a sigh the food has been fortified with the heart-healthy omega-3 DHA.
2. Read labels: Choose foods that have no more than 1 gram of saturated fat for every 100 calories, and no trans fats. On the other hand, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fats are good. So that peanut or almond butter is heart healthy, as long as you don’t go overboard and eat too much!!
3. Real foods: Anything in your cupboard that is close to the original source as possible, such as olive oil, olive oil spray, canned tomatoes, canned beans, or instant brown rice. Low sodium tomato or V8 juice is a perfect example, supplying two servings of vegetables in a tall glass…it doesn’t get any easier than this to meet your quota for vegetables and save your heart! Other foods you probably already have in your pantry include spaghetti sauce, fruit canned in its own juice, bottled salsa, and 100% whole grain bread and cereals.