Faster Grocery Shopping

An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but so can other fruits and vegetables, whole grains and certain antioxidants. So which foods should you add to your shopping list? Doctors say answering that question could be key to protecting your heart health.

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., with up to 2,500 Americans dying from the condition each day. Doctors say people can control their risk of heart disease by exercising regularly, getting regular checkups and eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. That’s where the right shopping list comes in.

To help people select heart-healthy groceries, the American Heart Association now has an online grocery list builder. The free, innovative tool helps people save time by making it easier for them to select products certified to be low in saturated fat and cholesterol and conveniently identified by the American Heart Association’s red-and-white heart-check mark.

You can access the easy-to-use tool at Once there, click on “Create your list today,” then browse through the more than 850 products and click “Add to list.” A box called “Your Grocery List” shows your list of foods. When you’re done, just print the list and take it with you when you go shopping.

You can select items by product manufacturer or these categories:

• Beverages

• Breads

• Breakfast foods

• Canned soup

• Dairy case

• Deli meats

• Desserts

• Frozen foods

• Fruits and vegetables

• Meat and poultry

• Pasta, sauces and grains

• Seafood

• Snacks

A separate category, called “My Items,” allows you to add other household items, such as spices or bottled water, to your list.

“With all the messages in grocery stores, consumers are bombarded with information,” said Penny Kris-Etherton, R.D., Ph.D., professor of nutrition at Pennsylvania State University. “The simple heart-check mark from the American Heart Association makes it easy for them to cut through the clutter and reliably find the nutritious foods they’re looking for.” The online tool, she added, makes healthy shopping even faster.

For more information about the American Heart Association’s Food Certification Program and the heart-check mark, visit

A new online grocery list builder can help people shop for heart-healthy foods.

Note to Editors: Although this story is evergreen and may be used at any time, it may be especially appropriate during March, which is nutrition month.