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Heart Healthy Food Shopping

Planning a trip to the grocery store this weekend? Pump up your heart health by choosing foods that are low in sodium.

Reducing Your Sodium Intake

Nearly ninety percent of Americans consume too much sodium.

If you are trying to reduce your salt intake here are some tips to help guide you when grocery shopping:

  • Choose fresh instead of processed/packaged.
  • Look for foods labeled “low sodium” or “no salt added”.
  • Use the nutrition label to check the amount of sodium.
  • Compare labels to find products with less sodium.

Fruit & Veggies

  • Choose fresh fruits, like apples, oranges, or bananas.
  • Try fresh vegetables like spinach, carrots, or broccoli.
  • Buy frozen vegetables without added butter or sauce.
  • Choose low-sodium canned vegetables.

*You can always rinse canned veggies to remove more of the sodium.

Bread, Cereal, and Other Grains

  • Try whole grains like brown or wild rice, quinoa, or barley.
  • Look for whole-wheat or whole grain pasta.
  • Buy unsalted or light popcorn.
  • Choose whole-grain hot or cold breakfast cereals with no added sugars, like oatmeal or shredded wheat.

Protein Foods

  • Choose fresh or frozen fish or shellfish.
  • Buy chicken or turkey breast without skin or marinade.
  • Buy lean cuts of beef or pork.
  • Try unsalted nuts or seeds.
  • Include eggs for fast and budget friendly meals.
  • Rinsing canned beans can remove nearly half of the sodium.
  • If you buy canned beans, you can always rinse them off to get rid of some of the sodium.


  • Buy fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
  • Choose fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt.
  • Try soy milk with added calcium, vitamin A, and vitamin D.
  • Consider low fat ricotta or cottage cheese to add protein and creaminess to dishes.


  • Try ginger, lemon juice, fresh herbs, spices, or salt free seasoning blends (ex: Mrs. Dash seasoning salt).
  • Use chopped vegetables, like garlic, onions, and peppers.

Take small steps toward preventing heart disease & stroke, like eating better & exercising. Little changes add up!

[source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services]

Celebrate American Heart Month

Each February during American Heart Month, the WakeMed Heart Center takes the opportunity to step out and share the importance of taking care of your heart.

Whether it’s undergoing a procedure, learning about risk factors for heart disease, considering healthier eating options or putting your best foot forward on the treadmill, your health is close to our hearts.

Learn more about heart-related events that are taking place. Get daily tips on how to live life young at heart. And learn about better nutrition for better heart health.

About WakeMed Corporate & Community Health

The Corporate and Community Health division of WakeMed provides worksite wellness and health promotion services to numerous corporate and community clients throughout Wake County. The department is made up of a multi-disciplinary team who perform preventative health screenings, education and coaching upon request. The department assists thousands of people each year on their wellness journey.