Adopting heart-healthy eating habits isn't as challenging as you think

Fruits and vegetables consist of many beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, calcium, healthy fats, fiber and antioxidants. According to the American Heart Association, eating a diet rich in these helps to lower the risk of many serious and chronic health conditions such as heart disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The expense of eating healthier is sometimes seen as a potential barrier. However, fruits and vegetables specifically have the flexibility and versatility to be included in your diet in a variety of different ways.

  • Fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruits and vegetables are all different ways to incorporate them into a heart-healthy diet.
  • When shopping for canned products, look for low-sodium options or those that are canned in water or 100% juice instead of syrups.
  • Looking for fruits and vegetables that are in season will likely be more affordable and a higher-quality product.
  • Additionally, look for items best grown in your area for a higher quality flavor and savings.

Making steps towards eating heathier is the best way to achieve a sustainable heart-healthy lifestyle. If fruit and vegetable consumption has been a struggle in the past, slowly sneaking them into your meals can be a way to increase your consumption.

  • For example, if you are making burgers, meatloaf or meatballs for your family, replace half of the lean ground meat with cooked, chopped mushrooms or bell peppers to sneak in extra vegetables.
  • Or, try adding shredded beets or carrots into your multigrain muffin mix before baking.

Each of these are simple and convenient ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables and move toward a healthier lifestyle.

Healthy recipes

Download these heart healthy recipes for easy meal time options.