Your best weapons in the fight against heart disease can be pretty tasty. Load up on these heart-smart, nutrient-packed foods.
Why grape juice is a heart-smart choice: Grape juice, like wine, has antioxidant compounds that reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and the chance of blood clots. Flavonoids in grape juice also help increase HDL (good) cholesterol and lower blood pressure. If you opt for wine, keep to about one glass a day.
Why grass-fed beef is a heart-smart choice: Limiting red meat is wise, but when you do eat it, aim for grass-fed beef. It has a higher concentration of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) than grain-fed beef, which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease. A 3 1/2 -ounce serving of grass-fed beef has more than double the amount of CLA found in grain-fed beef.
Why berries are a heart-smart choice: Antioxidants in berries -- especially blueberries -- show promise in many areas of heart health. A berry-rich diet may regulate blood pressure and boost good cholesterol.
Why soybeans are a heart-smart choice: One cup of soybeans, also called edamame, has a whopping 16 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber -- one fourth of the daily fiber recommended by the American Heart Association.
Why canola oil is a heart-smart choice: Use canola oil to reduce saturated fat in your diet and increase omega 3-fatty acids, which can lower cholesterol.
Why almonds are a heart-smart choice: Almonds, which are omega-3-rich nuts, are a heart-smart snack because they lower cholesterol. Munch 23 almonds (1.5 oz) daily.
Why oatmeal is a heart-smart choice: The fiber in oatmeal helps pull bad cholesterol out of your system, keeping your heart healthy. Consume oatmeal with at least five grams of fiber per serving at least three times a week.
Why spinach is a heart-smart choice: A 1.5-cup serving of fresh spinach or other dark green, leafy veggies packs more heart-protecting benefits than just about any other food.