Heart-Healthy Plant-based Proteins

Plant proteins include lentils, chick peas, beans, nut butters, tofu and other soy products.  They add variety to your diet and can be an excellent source of fibre. Nut butters (e.g., peanut, almond, cashew, hazelnut) add healthy unsaturated fats to our diet and make fantastic alternatives to butter and margarine. Click here to check the fat composition of commonly used foods.

Choose plant-based proteins more often:
Legumes Beans, peas, lentils (canned, frozen, dried)
Hummus and bean dips without mayonnaise
Baked beans with pork
Hummus and bean dips with mayonnaise
Legume dishes prepared with full fat coconut milk (e.g., curries or rice and beans)
Soy Products
Tofu (firm, regular, silken, flavoured) Soy protein products and legume based “veggie patties,” miso, tempeh, tofu puddings Fast-food veggie burgers prepared with coconut or palm/palm-kernel oil
Nuts and Seeds
All nuts and seeds
Natural nut butters with NO added sodium or sugars (peanut, almond, cashew, etc)
Natural seed butters (Tahini, pumpkin seed, sunflower seed, sesame seed, etc)
Nut or seed butters with added vegetable oils (e.g., cashew nut butter with safflower oil) Nut butters with added sodium and sugar

Chocolate based hazelnut butters


Heart-Healthy Animal Proteins:

Red meats (beef, pork, and lamb), poultry (chicken, turkey and duck), fish and eggs are all rich in protein, iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and saturated fat. Pick the leanest cuts to decrease your saturated fat intake. Seafood such as shellfish (crab, lobster and shrimp) are rich in cholesterol so choose them less often.

Oily or fatty fish are the best sources of omega-3 fats. Omega 3 fats are great for your heart and brain. Eat fatty fish 1-2 times a week to get all their benefits!

Choose heart-healthy animal proteins:
Meat Well-trimmed, lean cuts of beef, pork, veal, venison, moose, rabbit,
Extra lean hamburger
Low sodium lean ham, back bacon
Lean hamburger
Lamb loin
Processed meats without added sodium and nitrate/nitrate-free
Organ meats
Fatty or heavily marbled cuts of beef, pork, veal & lamb
Side bacon, side ribs, pigs feet & ham hocks
Processed meats with added sodium and nitrates and nitrites
Poultry Skinless turkey and chicken (light or dark meat) Lean turkey or chicken breast lunch meats, ground chicken and turkey Fried chicken, poultry with skin, giblets, duck, goose
Fish and Seafood Fresh or frozen fillets
Fish canned in water
Fatty or oily fish – salmon, mackerel, Atlantic herring, sardines, anchovies, albacore tuna
Fish canned in broth or tomato juice/paste
Shrimp and other shellfish, squid, caviar, clams, oysters
Salted, smoked or pickled fish
Fish canned in oil
Fish or seafood coated in batter
Eggs Boiled, poached, scrambled omega-3 eggs
Egg whites
Egg substitutes
Boiled, poached, scrambled regular eggs Pickled, fried, deviled eggs
Egg salad with full fat mayonnaise
Eggs Benedict or Florentine