Be a heart-smart shopper

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. Related: Snack Happy and Healthy with Low-Calorie Swaps
  • 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. Related: 11 Low-Calorie Desserts You Have to Try to Believe

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. Related: 30 Easy Money-Saving Tips That Couldn't Be Easier!
  • Drinking beverages that contain high-fructose corn syrup could cause you to eat more. The sweetener may be linked to obesity.