IIs it just me, or is Trader Joe the superhero of all supermarkets? Not only does the grocery chain have affordable and particularly delicious items (did they bug my dreams when they came out with that crunchy cookie butter spread?), but there really is something for everyone. tastes, whatever your food preferences, food sensitivities or wellness goals.
That said, if you’re in the market (pun intended) to add more heart-healthy foods to your cart, rest assured that TJ’s has you covered. For expert advice on the best heart-healthy Trader Joe’s products (think snacks, dips, desserts, and more), we reached out to Amy ShapiroMS, RD, CDN, de real nutrition At New York.
But before jumping into his 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)
- High quality lean 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 a dietitian swears by
This versatile snack is Shapiro’s go-to thanks to the sheer amount of heart-healthy nutrients you’ll find on its ingredient list. “These crispbreads are full of seeds, which are very high in fiber and protein,” she says. “Fiber is cardioprotective and helps lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.” Shapiro says consuming 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day is ideal, which you can get through whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Meanwhile, quality protein (from animal or plant sources) is essential for your cardiovascular system, brain health, and muscle function. Finally, Shapiro adds that the flaxseeds in these crispbreads contain omega-3s, which are a key type of heart-healthy fat that many don’t get enough of. She recommends pairing these crunchy crackers — which have three grams of fiber and four grams of protein per crispbread — with cheese, hummus, and/or a plate of veggies for a well-balanced snack.
Can’t get enough of your avocado fix? Luckily, these nutrient-dense fruits get a clinically backed stamp of approval as heart-healthy foods, so eat your way…literally. In fact, a March 2022 study shows that higher avocado consumption is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart disease in adults. While you’ll surely reap those benefits from slicing up a fresh avocado, Shapiro loves that this TJ’s guacamole is made with mostly whole ingredients and (read: no suspect preservatives). Not to mention the fact that it’s super convenient to have on hand as a dip or spread.
A heart-healthy diet is a well-balanced diet, and Shapiro likes these crackers to have the right mix of protein, fat, and carbs. And because they also contain flaxseeds and chia seeds, she again points out that they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Finally, beetroot powder doesn’t just provide a pretty tint: it’s good for your heart, too. “Beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, which can help lower blood pressure,” Shapiro shares. Top these seedy crackers with cream cheese and a slice of smoked salmon for an omega-3 and protein-packed appetizer or afternoon snack.
You can also try dipping them in this delicious heart-healthy vegan buffalo cauliflower dip:
Olive oil is another proven dietary powerhouse for heart health. After all, it’s a staple of the longevity-promoting Mediterranean diet thanks to its impressive nutrient profile. First, Shapiro mentions 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 a antioxidant, and vitamin K plays a role in blood clotting, heart health, bone health, and more,” she explains.Finally, Shapiro says olive oil is rich in antioxidants , which fight free radicals and inflammation in the body, which can harm the cardiovascular system and many other body functions.
Nuts are one of the healthiest snacks around, so much so that “people who eat them regularly are less likely to have heart attacks or die from heart disease than those who rarely eat it,” Shapiro says. Whether you opt for this seasoned nut mix from TJ, which also contains Kalamata olives, a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, or another bag of your choice, Shapiro says a one-ounce serving a day is ideal. to maximize their potential for the heart. .
6. Wild-caught sardines unsalted in spring water
According to Shapiro, these sardines are among the best of the best when it comes to heart-healthy products from Trader Joe, in large part because they’re 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,” she says. Shapiro also mentions that sardines are an excellent source of vitamin B12, which not only boosts energy but also provides cardioprotective benefits.
Finally, much to our delight, Shapiro is giving dark chocolate a big nod as a heart-healthy food. Just make sure it contains at least 70% cocoa and that you enjoy it in moderation. “Dark chocolate contains flavonoids, which are antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart disease,” she says. As a bonus, this delicious dessert “may also decrease inflammation, and it’s a tasty way to refuel fiber and magnesium, which can both improve digestion and mood,” adds Shapiro.
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