Use This List of American Heart Association-Certified Foods for Easy Heart-Healthy Shopping

Photo: Getty Images/Helena Lopes
Surprise, surprise: Not everything that claims to be healthy is actually nutrient-dense. Stroll through your local grocery store and you'll find promises of "gut-boosting" and "heart-healthy," only to find that the nutrition label says otherwise.

That's why we'll be bringing this handy grocery list from the American Heart Association (AHA) on our next trip to the supermarket. Rather than questioning the heart-healthiness of, say, a box of cereal or bag of pretzels, this straightforward PDF outlines products that align with the AHA's Heart-Check Certification Program requirements, meaning they meet a strict list of cardiovascular-friendly nutritional parameters. That way, you'll know exactly what grocery store foods (produce included) are heart-healthy.

If you're not familiar with the Heart-Check Program, it's pretty self-explanatory—not to mention a convenient method of making sure your cardiovascular system is getting the nutrients it requires to function at its best. AHA partners with manufacturers to help consumers make better shopping decisions in the grocery store. Foods and beverages are then labelled with the official AHA-certification, a little medallion you've probably seen on boxes of Cheerios and Planters peanuts.

Along with the grocery list—which is updated each month—there's no need to question whether or not a particular product or ingredient is actually cardiologist-approved. "Finding healthier options when shopping is easier than you might think," says the AHA on their website. "Just look for the Heart-Check mark on certified food and beverage products." Insert sigh of relief here. (FYI: This isn't a dietary plan and you should still talk to your doctor about what's best for your health, however, it is a good guide when you're browsing your local market.)

While you'll find the usual heart-healthy suspects on this list—think: chicken breast, leafy greens, whole grains, nuts—some of the Heart-Check foods might surprise you. Deli meat, for example, is one that caught our eye. Snackers can get their fix, too, with heart-healthier alternatives like Blue Diamond Low Sodium Almonds ($9) and Caulipower Sweet Potatoasts ($9).

A few other foods on the AHA's heart-healthy grocery list include:

  • Quaker oatmeal—instant and old-fashioned
  • Eggland's Best eggs
  • Hass avocados
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • McCormick chicken bone broth
  • Bolthouse Farms carrot juice
  • StarKist Chunk Light Tuna in Water
  • California dates
  • Pomegranates and pomegranate arils
  • Blueberries
  • Red, green, and black grapes
  • Darling mandarin oranges
  • Boar's Head roasted turkey breast
  • Unsalted pistachios
  • California walnuts
  • Georgia peanuts
  • Idaho potatoes

...And so much more. Fresh and frozen produce, dairy, meats, snacks, nuts, even seafood—this list has it all. Next time you do your weekly meal prep, skip the uncertainty and make sure you're treating your ticker to the best of the best it can possibly have. Download the AHA"s heart healthy grocery list here, or look out for that convenient lil' sticker on the side of your favorite foods at your local supermarket.

Craving something sweet? Try this delicious dessert that's loaded with heart-healthy goodies.

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