GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Heart health remains the number one health issue for Americans. Surprisingly, one-half of all heart attacks occur in people with a normal cholesterol level.
Susan Moores, MS, RD, Kowalski's Markets Nutritionist discusses three significant ways to better yours by changing up your grocery cart.
1) Minimize "added sugar" in the foods you choose.
Best places to do so: drinks, yogurt, cereals, and condiments. Check food labels: 4 grams of sugar = 1 teaspoon of sugar.
2) Choose better fats in place of not-so-great ones.
Pick more omega-3 fats and monounsaturated ones and fewer saturated fats. Best food choices: fish, olive oil, nuts and seeds and their oils, avocados.
3) Pick potassium-rich foods, spare the sodium/salt-rich ones. Potassium helps blunt the blood pressure-raising effects of sodium. Best choices: fruits, vegetables, yogurt and milk, salmon and halibut.
The big picture: Mediterranean-style eating. It can reduce heart disease risk by 30 percent.
· Eat primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
· Replace butter with "good" fats, such as olive oil or nut and seed oils
· Use herbs and spices to flavor food vs. salt
· Choose at least fish two-three times a week. Limit red meat to a few times a month.
· Enjoy meals with family and friends.