Healthy eating starts with healthy food choices. You don’t need to be a chef to create nutritious, heart-healthy meals your family will love. Learn what to look for at the grocery store, restaurants, your workplace and any eating occasion.
Want to make smart food choices but confused by all the health claims, messages and logos on foods? Use these tips to avoid the brain strain while shopping online or in-person at the store.
- Read food nutrition labels, even for so-called “healthier” foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary a lot by brand and preparation. When there’s more than one choice, compare labels. Choose the item with the lowest amounts of sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and added sugars.
- Beware of sneaky ingredients. For example, sodium and added sugars go by many different names, making it harder to tell just how much is in there.
- Choose frozen, canned or dried produce when fresh isn’t available or practical. It can be just as nutritious as fresh, and will last longer. Choose canned fruit packed in water, light syrup or its own juice. With canned and frozen vegetables, choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium. Heavy syrups and sauces can add unwanted ingredients to your healthy fruits and veggies.
- Choose whole-grain foods. Lots of products claim to be, but there’s a simple way to know for sure. Look for the word “whole-grain” (or “whole” followed by the grain name) as the first item in the ingredients list. And we’re talking more than just bread. Include crackers, cereals, tortillas, pasta and other grain foods in your whole-grain quest.
- Look for the Heart-Check mark to quickly and easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy eating plan. When it’s on the label, you know the product has been certified by the American Heart Association to meet specific science-based nutrition requirements. The Heart-Check is easy to spot and takes some of the guesswork out of comparing Nutrition Facts label information.
Cold weather can make it easy to become a couch potato preventing us from getting outside and getting active.
Don’t forget to drink water when exercising in cooler weather. Thirst isn’t the best indicator that you need to drink, just because you aren't sweating as much doesn't mean you don't need to hydrate.
Set realistic goals and plan how you’ll meet them.
Making resolutions is easy, but like most things in life, consistent follow through is what creates results and sustains positive change.
Keep it real by taking small, sustainable steps. For example, a plan to achieve the goal of being active on most days of the week may start with walking 20 minutes a day, 3 days a week and gradually build up to 30 minutes, 5 days a week. Track your progress with a journal, website or mobile app.
Too much sedentary time? Don’t take the pandemic sitting down. Check out this House Calls: Real Docs, Real Talk live session that was recorded to get expert help about how to form healthy habits.
What do you know about our Advocacy Efforts?
Our legislative and regulatory priorities help to mitigate risk factors and protect survivors in communities across the country. We advocate for federal, state and local policies that help Americans build healthier lives free of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
Important dates in January
1/1 - New Year's Day
1/18 - Martin Luther King Day
1/25 - National Voters Day
1/1 - 1/31 - National Birth Defects Prevention Month
1/1 - 1/31 - National Blood Donor Month
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