Home Blog February 2016 Most needed heart-healthy food bank donations

Most needed heart-healthy food bank donations

Most needed heart-healthy food bank donations
Every month, over 850,000 people are helped by food banks. Incorporating nutritious items is important for food banks as statistics show that healthy eating habits reduces the risk of heart disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. People living in poverty often struggle to access healthy food choices, and heart-healthy items from food banks can go a long way towards improving their diet.
Here is a helpful list of heart-healthy items that are in high demand by food banks.
Shop for pulses, beans and grains: These high fibre foods can help with weight control and blood cholesterol management, which are risk factors for heart disease and include: 
  • Alternative grains including oats, quinoa or brown rice
  • Whole grain items such as cereal or pasta
Look for smart protein choices: This is the International Year of Pulses! These healthy options are a lower-cost protein than meat. Bonus: they’re low in saturated fat, and each contains at least one heart-smart nutrient such as fibre, omega-3 fat, vitamin E or potassium.

  • Canned tuna, salmon or sardines
  • Dry or canned no-salt-added chickpeas, lentils and beans
  • Peanut butter or other nut butters
  • Unsalted nuts or soy nuts 
Prioritize fruits and veggies: A major risk factor of heart disease is consuming less than the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits each day. Canada’s Food Guide recommends 7-10 servings for adults. 
  • Sodium-reduced tomato sauce
  • No-salt-added canned vegetables
  • Fruit canned in water or fruit cups with no added sugar
  • Low sodium vegetable soups
 During heart month, consider helping others in your community who are struggling with hunger by donating heart-healthy items. You can find your local food bank here

This post has been updated from February 2015.

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)