Heart-healthy foods lined up in front of a lettuce background, including avocado oil mayo, low sodium soup, no salt added vegetable chips, low sodium seaoning, and a measuring cup.

Easy Grocery Swaps for a Healthier Heart

When trying to make diet and lifestyle changes to better your health and life, it can be just as easy as peeking in your fridge and cupboards and making some changes! Many healthy heart options are available for your favorite foods that don't take away from the flavor and satisfaction.

When you live with type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol can be another issue. These food swaps have lower saturated fat or sodium content. Let's see if you can make some of these switches and make your way to a healthier heart!

4 heart-healthy food swaps

1. Olive oil-based mayonnaise and salad dressing

Did you know that some salad dressings are better than others when promoting a healthy heart? It's true! Eating heart-healthy oils such as olive oil and avocado oil are recommended over saturated fat options such as creams and milk. Dressings such as ranch and Caesar are often made with whole-fat dairy and are not as healthy for our bodies.

Choosing an olive oil-based dressing will help bring you one step closer to a healthy diet! In the same way, mayonnaises come in avocado oil-based options, which lower the saturated fat content and still taste delicious. It's a win-win!

2. Low sodium soups

Likely you have seen the "heart-healthy" options of your favorite canned soups. When that label or name is present, the product has less sodium and fat than its original counterpart. Another option is to choose low sodium broth-based soups. Brothy soups are made without cream and naturally lower saturated fat content. Try choosing chicken noodle or minestrone over broccoli cheddar or cream of chicken.

3. Seasonings

Seasoning your food can get tricky, especially if you have always loved salt. Diets high in salt content have been shown to increase blood pressure. Choosing to decrease your sodium intake can also help lower your blood pressure.

There are great options on the market such as "Mrs. Dash" spices. But using any of your own salt-free spices can make for a very delicious combination. And don't forget natural flavorings such as fresh garlic, onions, or shallots. They can bring a flavor punch that makes the lack of salt insignificant.

4. Crackers and chips

With so many options on the shelves, it can feel overwhelming to choose something healthy and may lead you to just stick with the same old favorites. Try looking for "low sodium," "baked," or vegetable-based chips to make heart healthier choices. Also, being mindful of portion sizes on these kinds of snacks is helpful for weight maintenance as well as heart health.

It's not all or nothing

Making diet changes does not mean there is no room for your favorites. Most foods can be a part of any healthy diet. Be sure not to overindulge or over-restrict as that can lead to no balance at all.

As always, if you have any specific questions, reach out to your physician or registered dietitian.

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