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How to become a heart-healthy food shopper in six steps

by , 13 August 2015

Your ticker is an organ you should always look out for. Making small changes in your diet to keep your heart healthy sounds daunting, but it's actually really easy!

It all comes down to knowing which foods are heart-healthy, which foods are bad for your heart, and how to read food labels.

Today I'm sharing some insight with you on how to become a heart-smart shopper. Make sure you keep these pointers in mind next time you're doing a grocery shop.

Six dos and don’ts when it comes to shopping for heart-healthy foods

#1: Do opt for nutrient-rich foods
Look for foods that have at least 20% of the daily value of nutrients like fibre. Skip those with more than 5% of unhealthful ingredients like saturated fat and sodium.
 
#2: Do cut down on the sodium
To stave off high blood pressure, aim for less than 2,000 mg of sodium per day. Put frozen meals back on ice if they have more than 1,000 mg per serving.
 
#3: Do up your fibre intake
Try take in 25 g of fibre per day. Whole-grain cereals are a great way to get your fill – just choose a brand that has at least 3 g per serving.
 
#4: Don’t buy foods that contain trans fats
Trans fats lower your HDL (good) cholesterol levels and increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol. They’re most often found in processed foods, like cookies and doughnuts.
 
#5: Don’t go for carbs that aren’t whole-grain
Some carbs aren’t whole-grain, meaning they’re made with “enriched flour”. Avoid buying foods that contain this ingredient. Also, be careful to read your food labels, because there are actually many breads and pastas on the market that contain enriched flour!
 
#6: Don’t drink beverages high in fructose
Drinking beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup can lead to overeating. The sweetener is also associated with causing weight gain.
 

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