Stock Your Home Heart Healthy

Try these simple food swaps for a heart-friendly diet you’ll love.

By
Lindsay Bosslett

Eating a heart-healthy diet doesn’t have to mean giving up the foods you love. Get started by swapping your usual pantry staples with these cardio-smart substitutes. That way you can chow down on your favorites without the guilt.

Pasta for Spaghetti Squash
Roast this squash in the oven, then scoop out its strand-like insides for a delicious "pasta" meal chock-full of vitamins and low in calories and carbs. You’ll barely even notice it’s not real pasta!

Sour Cream for
Low-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
This yogurt is low in saturated fat and packs plenty of protein, so you feel full. It's also a good source of calcium, which helps regulate blood pressure.

Soft Cheeses (Brie)
for Swiss Cheese
The harder and more aged the cheese, the less saturated fat it has. Bonus: Swiss cheese is naturally lower in sodium than most cheeses!

Milk Chocolate
for Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has less saturated fat and more heart-healthy antioxidants! But watch those portions: Aim for 1 ounce a few times per week.

Canned Beans
for Dried Beans

Sure, they take longer to prepare, but canned beans can have up to 20% of your RDA of sodium. Bonus: Dried beans can cost up to 50% less than the canned ones!

Canned Tuna
for Canned Salmon
Canned salmon has more than twice the amount of inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids and the bones in canned salmon supply extra calcium.

Potato Chips
for “Popped” Chips
Made from potatoes that are heated under pressure, these have the same savory crunch as normal fried chips, without all the added fat and calories. Other smart snack options: roasted soy nuts, plain popcorn or rice cakes.

Mayo for Avocado
As a sandwich spread, avocado adds all the creaminess of mayo but with a dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Try it chopped up with some egg whites for breakfast.

Table Salt for Sea Salt
Sea salt is less processed than normal table salt, so it naturally has more healthy vitamins and minerals. It also has a stronger flavor, which means you can use less and consume less blood pressure-raising sodium.

Croutons for Roasted Walnuts
These nuts pack a powerful omega-3 punch and taste great mixed into salads! Just stick to a 1-ounce serving (about ¼ cup daily) to keep calories in check.

Bread Crumbs
for Old-Fashioned Oats
Using old-fashioned oats in place of any recipe that would use bread crumbs can help lower your cholesterol!

Butter for Coconut Oil.
This oil is packed with heart-healthy fats, and don’t worry—your foods won’t taste coconutty.

 

Published
February 2014