UHC Advice: Foods that may help to keep your Cholesterol in Check

Heart-healthy foods are essential to a heart-healthy diet. If you want to eat a better diet but are not sure what foods you should buy, check out this kitchen essentials guide. From fruits and vegetables to whole grain goodness, learn what foods to keep on hand.

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Fill your fridge with seasonal fruits such as berries, oranges, apples, pears, and grapes, and vegetables such as bell peppers, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, celery, eggplant, zucchini, and squash.

Dairy and Dairy Alternatives

  • Skim or 1% milk
  • Soymilk (plain, unsweetened, vanilla, or chocolate)
  • Low-fat or nonfat buttermilk
  • Nonfat half-and-half or nonfat creamers
    Nonfat or reduced-fat cheese (bricks, slices, or shredded)
  • Soy-based cheeses (bricks, slices, or shredded)
  • Nonfat or light cream cheese
  • Nonfat or 1% fat cottage cheese or ricotta cheese
  • Nonfat or 1% fat yogurt (includes fruited, vanilla, or plain)
  • Soy-based yogurts
  • Nonfat sour cream
  • Egg substitutes, egg whites

Meat, Poultry, Fish, and Meat Substitutes

  • Skinless, boneless chicken or turkey breasts and tenders
  • Skinless, white breast meat ground chicken or turkey
  • Pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
  • Lean ground beef such as ground round or ground sirloin (Note: When buying beef, look for words like “round” or “loin” and choose lean cuts — the less marbling, the lower the fat content.)
  • Assorted fish: salmon, mackerel, tilapia, trout, herring, tuna
  • Tofu silken, soft, firm, or extra firm
  • Tempeh
  • Seitan

Frozen Foods

  • Frozen vegetables and vegetable blends without added sauces, gravies, and added sodium
  • Frozen fruits without added sugar (for example, frozen blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries)
  • Frozen soybeans (edamame)
  • Frozen vegetarian burgers, sausage patties, or links (For example, Boca Burgers, Yves, Morningstar Farms, or Gardenburger)
  • Reduced-fat and sodium vegetarian chili, burritos, and entrees like Amy’s Organic and Health Valley.

Pantry Essentials


  • Assorted raw nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • Dried fruits
  • Whole-grain breads, tortillas, pitas
  • Whole-grain, trans-fat free crackers (such as Health Valley whole wheat crackers, Kashi TLC crackers, Reduced Fat Triscuits, Fat Free Rye Crisp, Wasa)
  • Baked, trans-fat-free tortilla chips
  • Brown rice cakes, popcorn cakes
  • Whole-grain pretzels (such as Snyder’s oat bran or honey wheat)
  • Plain popcorn or light microwave popcorn

Beans, Grains, Sauces

  • Assorted canned beans such as lentils, kidney, garbanzo, pinto, and black beans (Note: Choose low or reduced sodium if you have high blood pressure.)
  • Dried beans (lentils, split peas, garbanzo beans, black beans)
  • Reduced-sodium soups with beans (for example, Health Valley)
  • Vegetarian chili beans (for example, Westbrae Naturals or Health Valley)
  • Vegetarian or nonfat refried beans
  • Rolled, steel cut, or Irish oats Oat bran
  • Whole or ground flaxseeds
  • Whole-grain cold cereals (Note: Choose cereals that contain 5 or more grams of dietary fiber and fewer than 8 grams of sugar per serving.)
  • Barley
  • Brown rice, wild rice, and brown basmati rice
  • Grains such as wheat berries, couscous, polenta, millet, bulgur, or quinoa (pronounced keen-wa)
  • Whole-wheat, spelt, or kamut pastas (Note: These whole-grain pastas come in bowtie, fettuccini, lasagna, spaghetti, fusili, spiral, elbow macaroni, and ravioli varieties.)
  • Wheat germ
  • Whole-wheat flour and whole-wheat pastry flour
  • Soy flour
  • Cornmeal
  • Reduced-sodium canned diced tomatoes, whole tomatoes, and tomato sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Low-fat or fat-free pasta sauce
  • Reduced-sodium chicken, beef, and vegetable broths
  • 98% fat-free cream of mushroom or chicken soups (for example, Campbell’s Healthy Request)
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