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Giant Pharmacy Springfield Plaza

#HeartLove: Making heart healthy choices

Elizabeth Jia, WUSA

WASHINGTON DC (WUSA9) - For WUSA9's #Heartlove we visited a nutrition and health class at Giant Food. All February the grocery chain is offering free healthy heart classes.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. Avoid adding too much salt. The in-store nutritionist and pharmacist both had plenty of advice inside Giant Food at City Market on O Street, 2/21/2017. Shoppers learned how to choose food items that may help lower bad or "lousy" cholesterol, LDL.

"The most important thing is to eat half our plate, produce, " said Roxana Ehsani, the registered dietitian and in-store nutritionist at Giant Food.

Fruits in season include citrus fruits, apples and pears. Berries offer antioxidants.

"They're all very high in fiber, so that's been known to pull out the bad cholesterol of your bodies, " Ehsani said.

Instead of salt, consider adding spices like turmeric as a healthy substitution. Also, consider eating olive oil and avocado as sources of good fats to maintain a healthy or "happy" HDL cholesterol level.

"I think this is really going to be a blessing, said Mary Ann Bibbs. She asked a few questions during the session.

Samir Balile, the pharmacy manager, also talked about the importance of taking heart medication regularly. Shoppers observed some portable blood pressure monitors.

"I know better how to navigate what I should be doing and what I should not. And I'm married and so I can also inform my husband, " said Bibbs after the hour-long class.

Free heart healthy classes will be offered at Giant Food stores in Maryland and Virginia:

2/23: Giant Food in Alexandria, Va. on Duke St. at NOON

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