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Understanding what types of heart-healthy foods to incorporate into your diet can be a confusing process. There are many articles online stating that certain foods or diet fads can benefit you; but who’s to know what is real and what isn’t? Fortunately for us, our Registered Dietitian, Marsha Rosen, has curated a list of heart-healthy foods that are highly beneficial for your diet.

Your list of foods for a balanced diet should include a variety of choices from all food groups.

Here are some excellent suggestions to begin with and build on.

5 Heart-Healthy Foods

Salmon – Salmon and other fatty fish like mackerel, anchovies, sardines, herring, trout and arctic char; are extremely good for heart health as they contain plenty of omega-3 fats, which can help to lower the risk of heart disease. It’s recommended that you aim to eat at least 2 servings of fish a week.

There are three types of omega-3 fats:

  • ALA (alpha-linolenic acid)
  • EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid)
  • DHA (docosahexaenoic acid)

All three types of omega-3 fats are important to have in your diet.

Other foods that contain omega-3 fats include:

  • Eggs
  • Margarine enriched with the omega-3 fat DHA – made with fish oil
  • Yoghurt – fortified with Omega-3
  • Soy beverage – Omega-3 fortified
  • Soybeans – edamame

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is a high in soluble fibre, which can help to lower cholesterol. It’s recommended that you avoid eating instant oatmeal, as it often will contain sugar, and instead opting for traditional old-fashioned oats.

Berries – Berries such as strawberries and blueberries are believed to carry antioxidants that help to decrease blood pressure and dilate blood vessels. This is attributed to the benefit of compounds known as anthocyanins, and flavonoids.

Potatoes – Although potatoes can be more challenging to your heart healthy dining, if you don’t deep fry them, they can be extremely good for your heart. They’re rich in potassium and high in fibre (if the skin is left on), which again, can help lower blood pressure and the risk of heart disease.

Tomatoes – Similar to potatoes, tomatoes are high in heart-healthy potassium. Plus they’re a good source of the antioxidant lycopene. Lycopene is a carotenoid that may help to get rid of “bad ” cholesterol, keep blood vessels open and lower heart attack risk.

  1. Limit your intake of salt and caffeine. (No more than the equivalent of four regular cups of coffee per day.)
  2. Try to get 8 hours of sleep each night.
  3. Have regular check-ups with your physician. Early detection is the key to a successful solution.
  4. Keep a positive attitude and wear a smile… it takes only 22 muscles to smile, but 37 to frown.
  5. Make time for leisure activities such as reading, hobbies, sports, TV etc.
  6. Invest in CPR and AED education and training, and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

Serves 2


4Skinless, boneless chicken thigh fillets
1Small fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped
1Clove garlic, crushed
½ tspDried oregano
1 TspSmoked paprika
3 TspOlive oil
1 TbspFreshly squeezed lemon juice
Freshly GroundBlack pepper (taste)
1Red pepper, deseeded and cut into small chunks
1Red onion, sliced or cut into thin wedges


Score a couple of deep slashes in each chicken thigh using a sharp knife. Combine red chili, garlic (if using), oregano, smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of the olive oil, the lemon juice and black pepper in a bowl. Add chicken thighs; turn to coat all over. Cover; leave to marinate in a cool place for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350ºF/175ºC. Put red pepper and red onion into a small, non-stick roasting tin; add remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Add chicken thighs to roasting pan, nestling them among vegetables.

Roast in the oven for 30–40 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked (165⁰ F/74⁰ C – internal temperature) and piping hot, stirring vegetables and turning chicken thighs over about halfway through cooking.

Serve immediately with crusty bread or flatbreads and a mixed-leaf salad.

This recipe was found on the British Heart Foundation’s site. We have plenty of heart-healthy recipes, but if you’re looking for more, they’re a great resource. 

Recipes From Our Resident Expert, Marsha Rosen, RD
Here are some heart healthy recipes provided by Marsha Rosen, RD (Registered Dietitian). Marsha is
Mike Salem’s sister and in addition to offering private nutrition counselling, Marsha provides group lectures, seminars and cooking demonstrations.

If you have nutrition question for our dietitian, you can email Marsha here…

Do you have a heart healthy recipe that you would like to share? Send your recipes to

When the sun is shining, there are two paths a person can do down — one of letting loose or one of exercising and enjoying the outdoors. So how do you stay healthy during the summer?

Stress less 

Take some time after work to decompress outside and soak up the vitamin D. You will feel more alert, conscious and happy while getting your tan on. Many people struggle with a lack of Vitamin D during the winter, and a lack of it can have harmful effects on your mood.

Overall, “Exposure to sunlight can have many positive effects on our bodies and minds, especially in terms of regulating stress and happiness.” – Wellesley News

Outdoor Exercise

You can do many exercises outside oppose to a dark gym during the summer months. Not only can you, walk, run, cycle or play sports, you can also get elastic workout bands from Walmart to work every muscle in your body from where ever you are in the world. Here is a guide to exercise with bands (Here).  


Taking time off is an obvious way to decompress, catch up on much-needed sleep and ultimately experience all life has to offer. Try and be active on these vacations go on hikes through mountains, along the beach or through new cities oppose to gorging on food and alcohol at a resort for a week.

Stay off the French Fries

Here in Canada whenever we have a BBQ or go out to eat odds are we are going to be asked: “do you want fries with that?”

Skip the french fries the carbohydrates and hurting your overall health. In the summer, fresh produce is more readily available than any other time during the year. Most of the time, you will feel better eating natural foods over processed its also healthier for your heart.  

Overall Summer Health

There are endless ways to come out of summer healthier, smarter and less stressed. Soak up that Vitamin D, stay active and have a memorable time. 

It’s easy to become overwhelmed by healthy eating, but your overall health will benefit if you can stick with healthy basics during this trying time. That means filling half your plate with vegetables and fruit, a quarter with protein-rich foods, and a quarter with whole grains, as described by Canada’s Food Guide.

Preparing meals can seem complicated though with hard to get ‘superfoods‘ seeming like the only way to cook nutritiously. But this is simply not the case — heart healthy foods are hiding in plain sight at every grocery store across the country. Fresh, frozen, shelf-stable and more, these delicious whole foods benefit your total body health. Below are some of our tips that you can use, without breaking the bank.

Choose Wisely

Plan your meals ahead of time, so you can shop once and get groceries for the next week or two. When you plan your meals, make sure to use your perishable vegetables, fruit and protein options first, and save the canned, frozen and shelf-stable food for later.

Peel it Yourself

Buying foods in their close-to-natural state will always save you money. A one kilogram bag of whole unpeeled carrots costs about one-third the price of the same size bag of pre-cut baby carrots. Convenience comes with a higher price tag.

Go Meatless on Monday

Pick one or more days per week to go fully meatless, focusing on the highly affordable protein found in beans, legumes, eggs and tofu. Transform humble edamame beans into an edible masterpiece with this Carrot, Parsnip and Edamame Salad, ideal for lunch or dinner on the days you go meatless, or any day.

Choose In-Season Foods

Shopping in season is a simple way to enjoy a healthy diet on a budget, without even thinking twice. Head to your local farmers’ market or grocery store each week with growing seasons in mind. For instance, buy asparagus in April or May (not December!) and strawberries in June. In the summertime, you’re spoiled for choice, though this way of cooking and eating works year-round.

Use Frozen Vegetables

Picked at the peak of freshness and flash frozen, these ice-cold health foods are often just as nutritious as they are fresh. Choose frozen produce free of sauces, salt and sugar, and keep your eye out for sales during the week. They’ll keep for months, allowing you to buy in bulk and add to stews, stir-fries, salads, sides and soups.