February is American Heart Month!

Written By: Ellie Wilson, MS, RD  Senior Nutritionist, Price Chopper Supermarkets Muesli with fresh berries At Price Chopper, we love your heart! Eating foods that support heart health is easy at Price Chopper. Our valued guests can use the NuVal “Nutrition Made Easy” scoring system to choose more healthful foods. This score summarizes 30 nutrients into one simple score, from 1 – 100. The higher the score, the better the nutrition in that food. Fruits and Veggies- More Matters For heart health, eating a lot of fruits and vegetables is powerful support – they bring us fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. For this reason, fruits and vegetables earn the highest scores in the NuVal Scoring system – over 200 produce items have scores of 100! Seafood Savvy Eat at least 2 servings of fish each week, like salmon or tuna. Those fish contain the most omega-3 fatty acids, which have a proven effect on supporting great heart health. Seafood scores pretty high – salmon can have a NuVal Score of 93! Dairy Delivers 9 Essential Nutrients Choose low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese and yogurt.  Fat free milk has a NuVal score of 100, and some yogurts score as in the 90’s also. Light and lower fat cheeses are the best choices – use the NuVal Score to pick the best one in the flavors that you like. Fats should be cut down, not out.  Choose canola, olive, walnut, sunflower, safflower, soybean, and peanut oils. Saturated and trans fats are very harmful to our heart, and they really lower scores in food items that contain them. NuVal scores for bottled oils are around 19 – they are very high in calories, so a little goes a long way. Focus on Fiber to help with lowering cholesterol. Fiber can “trap” harmful fats and help remove them from our body. You will see high scores in the pastas, breads and cereals that contain more fiber and whole grains – several score in the 80’s and 90’s! Shake the Salt Habit to lower blood pressure and help the heart do its job more efficiently. The NuVal score is lowered in food items that are high in sodium. Check out higher scoring soups, for example – many soups are lower in sodium than they used to be, and also include lean meats and full servings of vegetables – their higher NuVal score will help them stand out in that category!

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