Every month, over 860,000 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.
For this 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.
Here is a helpful list of heart-healthy items that are in high demand by food banks.
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.
- Fruit canned in water or fruit cups with no added sugar
- Low sodium vegetable soups
- No-salt-added canned vegetables
- Sodium-reduced tomato sauce
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:
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
Did you know?
Our leadership partner Canadian Pacific is committed to heart health for Canadians and uses the CP Holiday Train to encourage people to donate healthy food to food banks. This year, the CP Holiday Train supported food banks across Canada by raising $1.5 Million dollars and 300,000 lbs of food!
Thank you Canadian Pacific for spreading holiday cheer and raising awareness of food insecurity across North America.