Forget your former throw-whatever-looks-good-into-the-cart approach and bring this list next time you head to the supermarket. Stocking your pantry with these heart healthy choices will set you up for cholesterol-success.
For the cupboard
- Canned beans, such as black, white, pinto, garbanzo, and kidney.*
- Dried fruits, such as figs, raisins, prunes, apricots, and dates.
- Whole wheat flour for baking.
- Apple sauce for baking.*
- A good bottle of virgin or extra virgin olive oil.
- Canola oil.
- Canned salmon and water-packed tuna.*
- Canned clams.*
- Canned sardines.*
- Canned fruit packed in its own juices or in light syrup.*
- Quick-cooking or old-fashioned oatmeal, but not the instant kind.
- Whole grain mix for pancakes and waffles.
- Cans of chopped tomatoes flavored with herbs, onions, or garlic for tossing with pasta.*
- Peanut butter (the natural kind, made without hydrogenated oil or added sugar).*
- Jarred artichoke hearts, sun dried tomatoes, and flavorful spreads, all of which can add pizzazz to pasta, rice, couscous, or other grains.*
*Refrigerate after opening
For the fridge
- Low-fat mayonnaise.
- Hard, flavorful cheeses like Romano or Parmesan.
- A sterol-based spread such as Benecol or Take Control, or a margarine free of trans fats (such as Smart Balance).
For the freezer
- Frozen veggie or soy burgers.
- Frozen turkey meatballs.
- Frozen vegetables in bags.
- Frozen berries.
- Fillets of frozen fish, not breaded (slip unthawed pieces into simmering poaching liquid for a fast meal).