Meal Ideas for a Heart Healthy Lifestyle

February celebrates Heart Health! As a dietitian with Coborn’s, I have the opportunity to work with clients on building a lifestyle that focuses on choosing the right types of foods and in the right amounts. Our goal is to make the healthy choice, the easy choice! Along with that comes some simple nutrition education. Here’s a brief run-down of a heart healthy diet:

  • More Fruits and Vegetables. They are loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants! All forms matter- try fresh, frozen, dried and even canned varieties to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily routine.
  • Whole Grains. Grains are important, but what’s key is choosing the right types of grains in the right amounts. Choosing whole grains offers more fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals and so much more! Make the whole grain choices when shopping for bread, pasta, cereal, granola bars, and snack crackers. Tip: Shopping tip: For a product to be whole grain, WHOLE must be the 1st ingredient on the ingredients list. For example, look for ‘whole wheat flour’ on the back of your breads!
  • Lean Protein. Look for lean sources of protein throughout the store. This includes meat and seafood, nuts and seeds, + dairy products! Here is a cheat sheet to help you pick out lean sources of meat and seafood next time you’re at the store.
  • Low-fat Dairy. In the Midwest, we love our cheese and our dairy products! The American Heart Association still recommends dairy products that are low-fat. There are plenty of milk, yogurt and cheese options at the store. The tricky part is consuming them in the right portion sizes.
  • Limit Sodium & Saturated Fat. Limit your sodium by cooking more with herbs and spices, or simply start using some Mrs. Dash blends, which are salt-free and have great flavor. Limit saturated fat intake by choosing low fat/fat-free dairy products and lean meats.

Simple substitution for your daily meals and snacks! Here are some ways in which you can make the swap for better nutrition! Remember, make small changes and overtime it will become a lifestyle, not just a short-term “diet”.

  • Try 100% whole grain bread over white bread
  • Try whole wheat pasta over white pasta – don’t like the texture? Do a 50/50 mixture of whole grain and white pasta
  • Choose chicken breasts and other sources of lean protein as listed in the handout provided Here
  • Enjoy a bowl of low-fat yogurt with some fresh fruit for a sweet treat. (tip: aim for less than 10 grams of sugar per serving in your yogurt).
  • Simply start by filling your plate 1⁄2 with fruits and vegetable before adding on your other foods.
  • When seasoning chicken breasts, sirloins, or whatever lean meat you choose, simple season it with Mrs. Dash. It’s a salt-free seasoning that is full of herbs and spices to offer great flavor without the sodium.

If you’re looking for more ideas, schedule a grocery store tour with me! I’ll take you through the aisles and help you identify better-for-you foods in every department of the store. It’s like having a personal shopper, but I don’t pay the bill! Reach out via our website at to schedule an appointment.


Happy & healthy eating,


Amy Peick, RD, LD
Coborn’s- Isanti, MN
Supermarket Registered Dietitian

February 14th, 2018

Posted In: General

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