IIs it just me or is Trader Joe the superhero of all the supermarkets? Not only can the grocery chain boast economical and uniquely delicious items (did they interfere with my dreams when they came out with this crunchy cookie spread?), But there is something for everyone — regardless of your dietary preferences, dietary sensitivities or goals wellness.
With that said, if you’re in the market (pun) for adding more healthy foods to your cart, make sure TJ’s covers you. To get an expert opinion on Trader Joe’s best heart healthy products (consider snacks, dips, desserts, etc.) we contacted Amy Shapiro, MS, RD, CDN, of Real Nutrition in New York.
But before we move on to its top picks at Trader Joe’s, Shapiro shares that a typical heart-healthy diet should be rich in the following macronutrients and micronutrients:
- Fiber (whole grains, fruits and vegetables)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (sardines, salmon, trout and seeds)
- Lean, high quality protein (fish, poultry and legumes)
- Healthy fats (non-tropical vegetable oils, nuts and seeds)
- Antioxidants (fresh or frozen products, olive oil, dark chocolate)
7 heart healthy Trader Joe’s products in which a dietician swears
1. Norwegian gluten-free crunchy bread
This versatile snack is Shapiro’s favorite thanks to the rich amount of nutrients that are healthy for the heart that you will find in its list of ingredients. “These crunchy breads are full of seeds, which are extremely rich in fiber and protein,” he says. “Fiber is cardioprotective and helps lower LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol.” Shapiro says eating 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day is ideal – which you can get from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Meanwhile, quality protein (via animal or plant sources) is essential for your cardiovascular system, brain health and muscle function. Finally, Shapiro adds that the flaxseeds in these crunchy buns contain omega-3, which is a basic type of fat that is healthy for the heart and many do not eat enough. He recommends combining these crunchy crackers – which contain three grams of fiber and four grams of protein per crispbread – with cheese, hummus and / or a vegetable dish for a well-balanced snack.
2. Organic Chunky Homestyle Guacamole
Never seem to satisfy your avocado? Fortunately, these nutrient-rich fruits receive a clinically proven seal of approval as a heart-healthy food, so eat as much as you can … literally. In fact, a March 2022 study found that higher avocado consumption was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease in adults. While you will certainly reap these benefits by slicing a fresh avocado, the Shapiro love that this TJ guacamole consists mainly of whole ingredients and (read: no questionable preservatives). Not to mention the fact that it is extremely convenient to have it on hand as a dip or ointment.
3. Beet crackers with 3 seeds
A heart-healthy diet is one that is well balanced and Shapiro likes that these crackers contain an adequate mix of protein, fat and carbohydrates. And because it also contains flaxseed and chia seeds, it reiterates that it is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Finally, beet powder does not only offer a beautiful shade: It is also worthwhile for your heart. “Beetroot contains a high concentration of nitrates, which can help lower blood pressure,” Shapiro said. Top these spicy crackers with cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon for the ultimate appetizer or afternoon snack rich in omega-3 and protein.
You can also try dipping them in this delicious, heart-healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower:
4. Extra virgin olive oil Selezione Sicily
Olive oil is another proven and true nutritional power for heart health. After all, it is a key element in the Mediterranean diet that promotes longevity thanks to its impressive nutritional profile. First, Shapiro states that olive oil is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory monounsaturated fatty acids and a good source of vitamins E and K. “Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that doubles as an antioxidant and vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting “Heart, bone health and much more,” he explains. Finally, Shapiro says that olive oil is rich in antioxidants, which fight free radicals and inflammation in the body, which can damage the cardiovascular system and many other functions of the body.
5. Nuts mixed with olive & herbs
Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks around – so much so, in fact, that “people who eat them regularly are less likely to have a heart attack or die of heart disease than those who eat them infrequently,” says Shapiro. Whether you choose this spicy TJ’s spice mix – which also contains Kalamata olives, a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids – or another sachet of your choice, Shapiro says a 1-ounce serving a day is perfect for maximizing its friendly potential. for the heart .
6. Wild caught unsalted sardines in spring water
According to Shapiro, these sardines are among the best of the heart-healthy Trader Joe products, mainly because they are a super source of omega-3 fatty acids. “Thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties, omega-3s help prevent heart disease, reduce the risk of blood clots and lower blood pressure,” he says. Shapiro also mentions that sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12, which not only boosts energy but also provides cardioprotective benefits.
7. 85% dark chocolate bar from Uganda
Finally, to our delight, Shapiro gives a lot of green light to dark chocolate as a heart-healthy food — just make sure it contains at least 70 percent cocoa and that you enjoy it, you know, in moderation. “Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease,” he says. As an added benefit, this delicious dessert “can also reduce inflammation and is a delicious way to replenish fiber and magnesium, which can improve digestion and mood,” adds Shapiro.
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