A healthy diet starts with your shopping cart

“Your diet is one of the most important things to living a heart-healthy lifestyle,” says University of Iowa cardiologist Mahi Ashwath, MD, MBA, FACC, FASE, FSCMR. “I try to incorporate a healthy diet in my day-to-day life.”

Mahi Ashwath, MD, MBA, FACC, FASE, FSCMR eating fruit

An easy first step to a heart-healthy diet, Ashwath says, is paying attention to what you put in your shopping cart.

Here are some tips:

  • Shop the outer aisles of the store first. That's where you will find the fresh foods.
  • Look for colorful and seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Include healthy fats like almonds and walnuts.
  • Quinoa, oats, and brown rice are great choices for fiber-rich whole-grain carbohydrates.
  • Select low-fat proteins like poultry, eggs, and fish and leaner cuts of meat.
  • Drink water instead of buying soda or juice.

“I do indulge in an occasional treat, but I try to pay attention to portion size when I do that,” says Ashwath, who recommends dividing snack food out into single serving sizes to help avoid overeating.

Last reviewed: 
February 2020

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