Heart Healthy Eating Tips from Longo’s Markets

As heart health month winds to a close, I love finding old resources especially when I need inspiration to get back on track.

Eight years ago today, I took a heart healthy nutrition workshop at the Longo’s Loft led by Sandra Saville. During the workshop, she referred us to check out one of her on-line posts about heart healthy foods. Since it was going to be removed from the Longo’s website shortly afterwards, I made sure to put it in a safe spot. While some items may have changed names or may no longer exist, there is a lot of great information below. Happy to find it today so thought it was worth sharing in case someone else needed some heart healthy ideas too.

I have been shopping at Longo’s Markets for three decades and love their produce, products and selection. Also love that they are a family-run grocer. Definitely check out the Longo’s website for many recipe ideas. If you live in the Toronto and/or Greater Toronto Area, you may wish to attend a future Longo’s Loft workshop. I have taken many over the years and always learn something new.

Enjoy and happy heart healthy cooking!


Heart Health Eating from Longo’s Markets – Circa 2010

Longo’s is pleased to have Sandra Saville, RD, registered Dietitian and Nutrition Consultant, offering her expertise on the nutrition issues important to you. Sandra brings her practical healthy eating strategies and tasty food ideas directly to Longo’s customers through in-store seminars, flyer tips and monthly web advice.

Download and print from Sandra’s Download Centre helpful healthy living templates.

Heart Healthy Eating

As I do my grocery shopping at Longo’s I am often asked food and nutrition questions. The most common question is “what should I eat for a low cholesterol, healthy heart diet?”

Longo’s Heart Healthy Shopping List highlights some of the many foods to choose for a heart healthy diet.

Longo’s Heart Healthy Shopping List

Produce Section:






Citrus fruits



Green beans








Produce Nutrition Tips:

Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your grocery cart. Choose the dark green, dark orange, red, yellow, purple, blue and beige colored produce. These fruits and vegetables are packed with different nutrients.

Include enough vegetables with your meals. At Lunch and Dinner, you should aim to fill half the plate with vegetables and have a serving of fruit for dessert. Fruits and vegetables also make the perfect snack.

High fibre fruits and vegetables keep you feeling full longer. Research has shown that soluble fibre, which is a specific type of fibre, may remove some cholesterol from the artery walls. Produce rich in pectin, a soluble fibre include apples, bananas, beets, carrots, cabbages, cauliflowers, strawberries and citrus fruits.

Lignan is another type of fibre that research has shown may help with lowering cholesterol. Produce rich in lignan include: cabbage, eggplant, green beans, peaches, pears, peas, radishes, strawberries and tomatoes.

Health Canada recommends that we eat at least one dark green and one dark orange vegetable daily. Add the following to your grocery cart: broccoli, spinach, romaine lettuce, sweet potatoes, carrots and winter squash.

Stock up on raw vegetables for snacks to pack to work, school, sporting activities and for “on the go”, including mini carrots, celery sticks, cherry tomatoes, flowerettes of broccoli and cauliflower, and ready prepared, easy to portion and pack Longo’s vegetable and fruit platters.

Enjoy fruits for dessert, including baked apples, apple or pear crisp, orange slices, broiled grapefruit or a strawberry and banana smoothie.

Dairy Section:

Milk (skim, 1% and 2%)

Yogurt, low fat

Cheese, part skim

Cottage and Ricotta Cheese, low fat

Soy Milk, fortified

Dairy Nutrition Tips:

When reading the label, compare the percent milk fat or butter fat (MF/BF). The lower the number, the lower the fat content in the product.

Cheese is considered low fat if it contains less than 20% milk fat.

If you love a higher fat cheese or milk product, you don’t have to do away with it, just make sure to make wise fat choices for the rest of the day. Your total fat intake is important.

Grocery Section:


Western Family Oatmeal

Oat Bran

Wheat bran

Whole Grain and Bran Cereals

Whole Wheat Pasta

Western Family Beans



Brown and Wild Rice

Nut butters (peanut butter and almond butter)

Longo’s “Hold the Salt” Nuts (almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pistachios, cashews)

Longo’s Dried Fruit, including apple rings, goji berries, kiwi slices, mango slices, dried apricots, pineapple rings, cranberries, raisins

Longo’s Snacks: “Hold the Salt” corn chips, veggie crisps, roasted yellow and white chick peas, roasted green peas, roasted soy nuts, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds

Grocery Nutrition Tips:

Stock up on heart healthy fibre choices, including bran, oat bran, Western Family Oatmeal, whole grain cereals, whole wheat pasta, peas, lentils and barley. The assorted varieties of Western Family canned beans are high fibre choices that are great for many quick and healthy Lunch and Dinner recipes. Just drain and rinse the beans under lukewarm water and add to salads, soups, pasta, mashed on toast, in a pita or wrap and added to chilli recipes. There is no “getting bored with beans”, because Longo’s carries over 22 different types of beans.

Did you know that the black bean contains the most fibre of the various types of beans?

Did you know that a 2 tablespoon serving of peanut butter or almond butter is equal to 75 g (2 ½ oz.) of meat. Nut butters contain heart healthy monounsaturated fats.

Longo’s Nuts, Dried Fruit and Snacks offer some fabulous heart healthy snack choices. “Hold the Salt” nuts, include: almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pistachios Choose from: dried fruit apple rings, goji berries, kiwi slices, mango slices, dried apricots, pineapple slices and raisins. Longo’s “Hold the Salt” corn chips, veggie crisps, roasted yellow and white chick peas and roasted green peas and sesame seeds are colourful, crunchy and fabulous flavoured healthy snacks to pack to work, school and keep stashed in the car for when the family is rushing to various activities.

Did you know that researchers have found that sesame seeds contain gums and mucilages that have been shown to potentially lower cholesterol? Add sesame seeds to cereal, yogurt, salads, baked goods and casseroles.

Meat/Seafood Section:


Lean cuts of meat, including loin, round, lean and extra lean

Skinless poultry

Meat and Seafood Nutrition Tips:

Health Canada encourages us to consume at least two servings each week of fish such as salmon, artic char, trout, sardines, herring and mackerel.

To keep the fish moist and flavourful, top Longo’s salmon with slices of lemon, orange or tomato before baking, and garnish with Longo’s fresh herbs like dill. The fresh herb garnish gives the dish a “Chef- prepared” appearance, and adds healthy nutrients.

Omega 3 eggs and egg whites are also in the Meat and Alternatives group of Canada ’s Food Guide.

Bakery Section:

Longo’s Bakery offers a variety of heart healthy breads, wraps, bagels, pizza crusts, English muffins, and buns that are whole grain and high fibre, made with 100% whole wheat, whole rye, oatmeal, heavy mixed grains and pumpernickel.

Bakery Nutrition Tips:

Longo’s whole grain muffins and Western Family whole grain crackers are easy to pack for “snacks on the go”.

Choose 100% whole grain baked goods more often.

Frozen Food Section:

Western Family frozen fruit (assorted varieties)

Western Family frozen vegetables (assorted varieties)

Edamame (frozen soy beans)

Frozen Food Nutrition Tips:

Frozen fruits and vegetables offer lots of heart-healthy choices.

Did you know that frozen okra is rich in pectin, a heart healthy fibre? Add okra to soups, casseroles and stir fries.

Frozen vegetables are quick and easy to prepare, they are already washed, cut and ready to cook.

Add frozen fruit to smoothies, enjoy in fruit crisps, or add to cereal, muffins and yogurt.

Prepared Foods Section:

Longo’s prepared foods section offers many convenient heart-healthy choices, including Eggplant parmigiana, lentil soup, skinless chicken, steamed vegetables, grilled lean meat options and much more!

Heart-healthy eating starts with the foods you choose in store. “Check out” all of the heart healthy foods that Longo’s has to offer!


Some useful websites we were given in the workshop –

DASH DIET – http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf







Author: FinnSpirit

I am a positive super spirit builder, aunt, foodie, anglophile, philomath, traveller, Rodan + Fields Independent Consultant, lifelong Junior Leaguer and volunteer who is passionate all things beauty, style, design, pink, photography, PFCC, people, careers, community and making a difference.

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