2011/365/065: Top 25 Heart-Healthy Foods

Image: http://thebest-healthy-foods.com/heart-healthy-food/

My friend Trina and I were up and on the trail at 5:30 this morning. We biked 10 miles in the cool breeze and sporadic rains (especially in the last 3 miles) and talked a lot about our upcoming goals: races, weight loss, hiking. Toward the end of the ride, I turned to Trina and said, “You know what really strikes fear into my heart? Surgery. Getting opened up. A friend of the family died of a heart attack when he was 46 [my age], and another friend we went to high school with is in the CCU right now with 100% blockage. I don’t want that to be me. It’s not anger, frustration, or even disappointment that’s motivating me right now. It is pure fear.”

It’s not hard for me to visualize something like that happening, and every time I run that little movie in my head, it helps me tremendously in making good decisions.

Yesterday, I was looking for foods that would be good for my heart, and it didn’t take me long to find this site on webmd.com. They list the top 25 foods they consider to be heart-healthy.

Take a good long look at this list. How many items do you eat on a daily or weekly basis? How many foods you are currently eating can easily be switched with some of these better choices?

Here’s the list. Feel free to chime in on other heart-healthy choices you’ve discovered.

  1. Salmon
  2. Flaxseed (ground)
  3. Oatmeal
  4. Black or Kidney Beans
  5. Almonds
  6. Walnuts
  7. Red Wine
  8. Tuna
  9. Tofu
  10. Brown Rice
  11. Soy Milk
  12. Blueberries
  13. Carrots
  14. Spinach
  15. Broccoli
  16. Sweet Potato
  17. Red Bell Peppers
  18. Asparagus
  19. Oranges
  20. Tomatoes
  21. Acorn Squash
  22. Cantaloupe
  23. Papaya
  24. Dark Chocolate
  25. Tea

I love all of these foods, and so this switch won’t be hard at all for me to make. If you’re looking to make the change, too, how hard will it be to work these foods into your diet?




6 thoughts on “2011/365/065: Top 25 Heart-Healthy Foods

  1. Gotta love the list! And I believe everything on there is Gluten Free as well. I eat a basic whole food,gf, quasi-vegetarian diet but here’s what I add: go to the Environmental Working Group (EWG) website and check out the list of foods that are highest in toxic load/toxins from pesticides and buy those items from the organic aisles.
    As I glance at your list I see: blueberries and red bell peppers (high in pesticides) that I know I buy organic and the tofu and soy milk I’d buy organic to stay away from GMOs (genetically modified) ingredients. Organic labels do not allow GMOs.
    I don’t waste my money on organic papayas, broccoli, onions, garlic, etc. since they are low on the pesticide list, which reminds me; I thought onions and garlic were good for the heart.??? hmm
    If you can’t get enough fish in your diet, consider fish oil. I use Coromega packets. These come in orange, lemon and chocolate/orange flavors that arrive in single servings and do NOT taste like fish. (Coromega is the name of the company.)
    There’s my 2 cents. I’ll keep thinking.


  2. Your 2 cents are with millions, Cindy. Thanks so much for the detailed info and the link to the EWG. Will definitely check it out.
    I can’t tell you how great I feel today. I am definitely back in “that groove’ and am excited by what results may come in as short as two weeks.
    Thanks so much for this comment! 🙂


  3. I think I’m such a health nut, but the only thing on this list I regularly consume is red wine! I do use almond butter instead of peanut butter everyday for lunch.


  4. Wow– nice to see that I do 15 out of the 25 on a weekly, if not daily basis! Hmm but still look the way I do. Ok– working on that. I do have to agree with Cindy ( and will check out the website she referred too– thanks for that). I worked for a hydrocolloid company (water soluble vegetable gums, stabilizers, thickeners, emulsifiers, etc ) with many food scientists etc for 16 years and learned alot. They were a pioneer in GMO free, organic ingredients for food producers. Amazing what you learn. And I agree with Cindy… there are products you want to spend the extra money on to get organic and then there are others that you dont. Items with skins, like grapes, apples, peppers, etc you want to buy organic and then other things that you peel, like bananas where there is no real benefit to buy organic. Some companies use what could be a very small or even insignificant amount of ‘natural’ material to claim an entire product is natural and its acceptable. Diff. organizations classify differently like the USDA, NFA, COSMOS, etc . A product can legally claim to be ‘natural’ if it has one drop of a natural ingredient in it, even if the rest of the ingredients in it are all chemicals and preservatives. Organic claims have alot of loopholes. Food label requirements and certifications are different than those required on personal/health and beauty items where it can be labelled and called “Organic/Natural” if an ingredient on the label can say made with “organic coconut milk”. Unless the consumer is really aware and knowledgable, its not necessarily true. Misleading to so many. Ok… thats my two cents.


  5. Cara is right! Almond butter is wonderful. I buy mine raw at Trader Joes. They have the best price vs Roots or MOMs.
    I also use coconut oil rather than strictly olive oil. Coconut oil can take higher temps and has the ‘good fats’. I can now buy it at Martins. (I just used it to pop popcorn!)
    Another item to consider is coconut milk in the refrigerated section. It takes some getting used to but I can’t have a lot of soy, so coconut milk is my alternative.
    Green tea for ECGC ( think I have that acronym right) and Oolong for weight loss or so they say (I better start drinking more) and tea is supposed to be heart healthy.
    But my all time fav heart healthy dinner is vegetarian black beans and rice.
    I just returned from my physicians seminar on toxins and detoxing. Funny thing one way to clear toxins is by doing something we don’t think about to do and that is: Meditation. Toxic thoughts=body toxins . Something to consider.
    …still thinking..


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