Updated: August 26, 2011

For a healthy heart and a slimmer waist, make sure to include these foods in your grocery basket. For inspiration on cooking with these ingredients, check out the American Medical Associations beautifully illustrated Healthy Heart Cookbook (Meredith Books, 2004).

Whole-grain breads and cereals provide significant amounts of insoluble fiber, which helps control weight by filling you up, and some soluble fiber, which reduces cholesterol.

Fruits like apples, pears, citrus and berries are packed with fiber and phytochemicals, which show promise in fighting heart disease. Lycopene, found in fruits like tomatoes, watermelon and pink/red grapefruit, helps lower cardiovascular-disease risk.

Dark, leafy greens like arugula and spinach contain folate, which helps break down homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that increases heart-disease risk.

Nuts contain healthy fats. Walnuts boast omega-3 fatty acids, which lower triglyceride levels. Almonds, cashews and macadamias are full of monounsaturated fats, which help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

Salmon and other cold-water fatty fish like sardines, mackerel and herring are brimming with omega-3 fatty acids.

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