How To Stock Your Cupboards for Better Heart Health

Blues Perspectives

| 3 min read

On this episode of A Healthier Michigan podcast, Chuck Gaidica is joined by Maddie Yaw, Nutritionist, MPH. Together, they discuss ways we can stock our cupboards with heart healthy foods.

Stock Your Pantry Meaningfully

Be meaningful when stocking your pantry. There is room for everything in moderation, but your pantry should be deliberately stocked. Make sure what you put in your pantry and where it is on purpose and deliberate. Consider some pantry staples that can help promote a heart-healthy diet.

Categorize What is in Your Pantry and Cupboards

There are three main categories to consider when stocking your pantry:
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Healthy fats


Fiber helps lower your cholesterol. Good sources of fiber for your pantry include: 
  • Canned beans, fruits, and veggies
  • Grains, brown rice, or quinoa
  • Whole grain cereals like Cheerios.


Protein helps to keep you satiated. A plant-based diet is best for heart health, so plant-based proteins you can keep in the pantry are helpful.
  • Nut butters like peanut or almond butter
  • Beans

Healthy Fats

Healthy fat options for your cupboards include:
  • Canned tuna, salmon, or sardines
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters 
  • Olive or avocado oils
Canned fish is shelf-stable, and when packed in olive oil provides more healthy fat. Olive oil has monounsaturated fats, which are healthy fats, as does avocado oil, which has gained popularity recently for its higher smoke point. These are both better than butter or coconut oil which have saturated fats.

Suggested Substitutions or Replacements

Substitutions to consider as better alternatives to common pantry items include whole grain products instead of more processed alternatives: brown instead of white rice, whole wheat pastas or chickpea pastas instead of your usual pastas. Consider that the average American does not get enough fiber in their diet.
Organize your cupboard so treats are not always in your view when you open your cupboard. Make the healthier foods easier to reach for than the stuff you keep in moderation. 

Meal Planning

Having a plan or idea of what meals you can make ahead of time can help you at times when you’re busy or tired during the week. At the start of the week write down meal ideas: if you go into the level of detail of recipes and grocery lists, that is great, but even meal planning with general meal ideas is a great start to have a plan going into the week.
Listen to the podcast, How to Stock Your Cupboards for Better Heart Health, to hear the entire conversation.  A Healthier Michigan Podcast is brought to you by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.
To hear more episodes on your smartphone or tablet, subscribe on Apple Podcast or Spotify or your favorite podcast app.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


MI Blues Perspectives is sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, a nonprofit, independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association