First of all - who is paying for this? I'm not - me either.
We were able to get dietitian Cindy Shipman to spend about an hour with us at a local Publix grocery store to help us choose heart healthy food.
Some people say to get heart healthy food you have to give up on flavor. That's not true at all. It may take more planning, more work in preparation.
The first rule of thumb when grocery shopping is:
"You have to know what you're looking for before you get here."
The second rule is read labels.
"Any of the convince items will actually have the labels on them so you can spot calories."
But a lot of your meats will not have a specific nutrition label, so on those labels you have to look at the ingredients.
"This is so important when looking at labels, if you're looking for the leanest.
For instance if you're looking for the leanest turkey,
"You want it to say turkey breast."
When it comes to ground beef, most grocery stores offer very low fat or light meat, and this is what you need to look for.
"It has the American Heart Association seal of approval. They have a certification program."
There was one isle we just couldn't seem to agree on, the cookie isle, but you don't have to rule out sweets altogether.
“People do need something sweet every once in a while. There are alternatives."
Pre-packaged goodies that come in set serving sizes - 100 calories per pouch.
Speaking of calories. What is the limit in a day? Average for man is about 2000, average for woman is 1800. We're all different though based on metabolism, weight and age.
Cheese is a favorite for just about everyone, but once again, you need to read the label.
"Cheese is high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is the fat that helps raise your bad cholesterol."
While cheese does have some heart healthy benefits - you need to search for, you guessed it, low fat or fat free. Milk is also good for you, but skim is the best. Still has the same calcium, same protein the same good nutrition. For those who say the taste just isn't the same.
“I say give it two weeks - they would totally adjust."
Fruits and vegetables are a must for a heart healthy diet. Berries provide the best heart benefit. Berries are one of the lowest carbo fruits there is."
And on the vegetable side, "Peppers are really nutritious, carrots all of these are just like power house nutrition foods.
And which is the best bread to choose for your heart healthy diet?
Another labeling problem, check list of ingredients to make sure the first ingredient is actually whole grain.
We of course can't take you down every isle and show you every thing that is good and bad for you, but as you heard over and over, read the label and look for the American Heart Association seal.