woman prepping veggies to cook

Stocking a heart healthy kitchen

Heart-healthy foods are essential for a heart-healthy diet.

If you want to eat a heart-healthy diet but are not sure what foods you should buy, follow this heart-healthy kitchen essentials guide. From fruit and vegetables to wholegrain goodness, learn what foods to keep on hand. Fill your fridge with seasonal fruits such as berries, oranges, apples, pears, and grapes, and vegetables such as peppers, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, celery, eggplant, zucchini, and squash.

Dairy and dairy alternatives
  • Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk
  • Soy milk (plain, unsweetened, vanilla or chocolate)
  • Low-fat buttermilk
  • Reduced-fat cream
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Soy-based cheeses
  • Low-fat or light cream cheese
  • Low-fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • Low-fat yogurt (includes fruit, vanilla, or plain)
  • Soya-based yogurts
  • Low-fat sour cream
  • Egg substitutes, egg whites
  • Skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breasts
  • Pork chops, trimmed of fat
  • Lean ground beef (with a fat content of less than 10%)
  • Assorted fish: salmon, mackerel, trout, herring, tuna, and tilapia
  • Tofu silken, soft, firm or extra firm
  • Tempeh (a whole soya bean product)
  • Seitan (wheat gluten)
Frozen foods
  • Frozen vegetables and vegetable blends without added sauces, gravies, or salt
  • Frozen fruits without added sugar (for example, frozen strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or blueberries)
  • Frozen soy beans (edamame)
  • Frozen vegetarian burgers, sausage patties
  • Reduced-fat and sodium vegetarian chilli, burritos
Fats, cooking oils
  • Assorted cooking oils (olive, canola, walnut, grapeseed, peanut, and sesame)
  • Non-fat cooking sprays
  • Baking fat replacements (for example, pureed prunes or apple sauce)
  • Non-hydrogenated shortening
  • Trans-free liquid or tub margarine
  • Reduced-fat or non-fat salad dressings
Herbs, seasonings and spices

Here are some delicious seasonings to take the place of salt:

  • Basil
  • Bay Leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Caraway seeds
  • Cayenne
  • Chilli powder
  • Chinese five-spice
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Curry powder
  • Dill
  • Garlic powder
  • Ginger
  • Ground Italian seasoning
  • Marjoram
  • Mint
  • Mixed spice
  • Nutmeg
  • Onion powder
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Rosemary
  • Assorted salt-free seasonings
  • Sugar substitutes
  • Honey
  • Brown rice syrup for a sweetening alternative to use when baking
Pantry essentials


  • Assorted raw nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds)
  • Dried fruits
  • Wholegrain breads, tortillas, pitas
  • Wholegrain, trans-fat free crackers
  • Baked, trans-fat free tortilla chips
  • Brown rice cakes, popcorn cakes
  • Plain popcorn or light microwave popcorn


  • Assorted vinegars: rice, red wine, balsamic, apple cider, raspberry. These make delicious salad dressings.
  • Reduced-salt ketchup
  • Assorted mustards: wholegrain, honey, Dijon, English, American
  • Reduced-salt soy sauce
  • Reduced-fat or non-fat mayonnaise
  • Barbecue sauce

Beans, grains, sauces

  • Assorted canned beans such as lentils, kidney, chickpea, pinto, and black beans (choose low-salt versions)
  • Dried beans (lentils, split peas, chickpeas, black beans)
  • Reduced-salt soups with beans
  • Vegetarian chilli beans
  • Vegetarian or non-fat refried beans
  • Rolled or Scottish oats
  • Oat bran
  • Whole or ground flaxseeds
  • Wholegrain cold cereals (Note: Choose cereals that contain 5g or more of dietary fiber and fewer than 8g of sugar per serving.)
  • Barley
  • Brown rice, wild rice, and brown basmati rice
  • Grains such as wheat berries, couscous, polenta, millet, bulgar, or quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)
  • Wholegrain, spelt, or kamut pastas (Note: these wholegrain pastas come in bowtie, fettuccini, lasagne, spaghetti, fusili, spiral, elbow macaroni, and ravioli varieties.)
  • Wheat germ
  • Wholewheat flour and wholewheat pastry flour
  • Soy flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Reduced-sodium canned diced tomatoes and whole tomatoes
  • Tomato purée
  • Low-fat or fat-free pasta sauce
  • Reduced-salt chicken, beef, and vegetable broths
  • 98% fat-free cream of mushroom or chicken soups

Source: WebMD; High cholesterol: Stocking a heart-healthy diet