Read labels carefully and add foods that follow these guidelines to your diet:
- Look for foods that have at least 20 percent of the daily value of nutrients like fiber, and skip those with more than 5 percent of unhealthful ingredients like saturated fat and sodium.
- To prevent high blood pressure, aim for less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day. Put frozen meals back on ice if they have more than 1,000 milligrams per serving.
- Try to take in 25 grams of fiber per day if you're 50 or younger and 21 grams if you're older. Whole-grain cereals can be a good way to get your fill; choose a brand that has at least 3 grams of fiber per serving.
Keep foods out of your cart if you spot these heart foes in the list of ingredients:
- Trans fats lower your HDL (good) cholesterol levels and increase your LDL (bad) cholesterol. Trans fats are most often found in processed foods, like crackers, cookies and doughnuts.
- Enriched flour. If it's one of the ingredients in bread or pasta, it means the selection is not whole-grain.
- Drinking beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup could cause you to eat more. The sweetener may be linked to obesity.