The Costco Shopper’s Guide to Heart-Healthy Pantry Essentials

Whether you’re casually shopping or you find yourself preparing for a pandemic closure or the next big earthquake, make sure you add these heart-healthy pantry essentials to your Costco cart.

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My husband and I became Costco members a couple of months ago, and, every time we come back, we kick ourselves for not joining sooner.

PROS: The bulk products lessen our weekly shopping load, and we get a much better deal when the price is broken down per item or pound. CONS: Finding enough space to store everything!

It’s no surprise, buying the bulk items is absolutely helpful for stocking up your emergency stash. But what should you get?

Whatever you decide to purchase, don’t forget your heart-healthy essentials. I have a few favorites I’m going to share with you that are low in saturated fats and sodium, while also a source of omega-3 fatty acids, potassium, and fiber.

Whether you’re casually shopping or you find yourself preparing for a pandemic closure or the next big earthquake, make sure you add these heart-healthy pantry essentials to your Costco cart.

1 – Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats

serving size: 1/2 cup dry oats – saturated fats 0.5g | polyunsaturated fats 1g | monounsaturated fats 1g | sodium 0mg | potassium 150mg | fiber 4g

A hot bowl of oatmeal is the perfect heart-healthy base for your breakfast, thanks to its fiber and potassium. Treat it as a blank slate by adding your favorite fruit, nut butter, seeds, or granola.

Not to mention, this 10-pound package of oats contains 110+ servings. Absolutely insane and a must-have pantry essential that will feed you for months!

2 – Kirkland Signature Organic Creamy Peanut Butter

serving size: 2 Tbsp – saturated fats 2.5g | polyunsaturated fats 4.5g | monounsaturated fats 8g | sodium 65mg | potassium 105mg | fiber 3g

What pairs best with ten pounds of oats? Three and a half pounds of creamy peanut butter, of course! Peanut butter is basically the ultimate healthy comfort food with a good amount of heart-healthy fats, potassium, and fiber. Lucky for us, Costco makes sure you have some on hand for a loooong time.

PROS: It’s natural! Although the label doesn’t say it, the only ingredients are dry roasted peanuts and sea salt.

CONS: It’s salted, but 2 Tbsp only contains 65mg of sodium, which makes it a low-sodium option. Not too shabby.

3 – Kirkland Signature Extra Fancy Unsalted Mixed Nuts

serving size: 1 oz (about a handful) – saturated fats 2g | polyunsaturated fats 4g | monounsaturated fats 9g | sodium 0mg | potassium 115mg | fiber 2g

Have you tried these mixed nuts yet? They taste SO GOOD. I’ve tried many unsalted nuts before, but Kirkland Signature’s is by far the tastiest. I don’t miss the salt at all! For that reason, these heart-healthy, unsalted mixed nuts is most definitely a pantry essential.

It’s a mix of cashews, almonds, pistachios, and pecans. Individually, they are good enough on their own. But together, they create a flavor bomb. Get it, you won’t regret it.

WARNING: Avoid if you are allergic to peanuts. Peanut oil is listed in the ingredients.

4 – naturSource Salad Topper

serving size: 1/4 cup – saturated fats 1g | unsaturated fats 10g | sodium 75mg | potassium 110mg | fiber 2g

While it’s called Salad Topper, I find it makes a great snack, especially mixed with a few of the unsalted, mixed nuts mentioned in #3. Get creative and use these in a trail mix or homemade granola.

The salad topper has dry roasted sunflower seeds, dried cranberries, dry roasted pumpkin seeds, and tamari sauce. One serving is low in sodium, loaded with unsaturated fats, and a good source of potassium and fiber. Yum!

5 – Kirkland Signature Wild Alaska Pink Salmon (Canned)

serving size: 1/2 can – saturated fats 0.5g | polyunsaturated fats 0.5g | monounsaturated fats 0.5g | sodium 240mg | potassium 320mg | fiber 0g

For a high-protein source low in saturated fats and a hint of omega-3’s, we turn to canned salmon. Costco sells 6 cans in a pack, lasts up to three years, and the ingredients contain only salmon and salt.

Unfortunately, this one doesn’t fall in the low-sodium category. Instead, it is moderately-low with the bonus benefit of containing 320mg of potassium per serving to balance out the excess sodium. Good enough to be in our pantry!

6 – Nutiva Chia Seeds

serving size: 1 Tbsp – saturated fats 0g | polyunsaturated fats 2.5g | monounsaturated fats 0g | sodium 0mg | potassium 60mg | fiber 5g

Chia seeds may look like the odd man out on this list, but give me a chance to defend it for a sec. In a survival situation where you only have water, you might be relieved to find a bag of chia seeds.

One tablespoon gives you 2.5g of polyunsaturated fats, 60mg of potassium, 5g of fiber, and 3g of protein. You can add it to your water, sprinkle it on top of your food, or blend it in a smoothie.

In my eyes, chia seeds are the nutrition powerhouse you need in your day-to-day life, and a source of nutrition when all you have left is water. Do yourself a favor and get yourself a bag of these.

7 – Homai Organic Brown Rice

serving size: 1/4 cup dry (3/4 cup cooked) – saturated fats 0g | polyunsaturated fats 0g | monounsaturated fats 0g | sodium 0mg | potassium 120mg | fiber 2g

Brown rice is my whole-grain choice at Costco. It comes in a 15-pound bag, so you won’t run out it anytime soon, and it provides some potassium and fiber.

It will be easy to eat with any protein and veggies you have in the fridge or freezer and can transform into a delicious bowl of fried rice. Definitely nice to have a giant bag of rice on-hand.

8 – S&W Black Beans Organic (canned)

serving size: 1/2 cup – saturated fats 0g | polyunsaturated fats 0g | monounsaturated fats 0g | sodium 85mg | potassium 410mg | fiber 10g

Perhaps I saved the best for last, but I am in awe by the amazing nutrition provided by these black beans. The ingredients contain only black beans, water, and sea salt, and the beans are quite generous in the potassium and fiber departments.

I didn’t see an unsalted version at Costco, but 1/2 cup has just 85mg, which is low enough to be considered low-sodium. Thus, it makes the cut!

Since these items come in bulk, make sure you plan ahead of time to use them all up. Let’s not waste them! I know it’s easy to let them go expired, especially if they’re set aside for emergency situations. Make a calendar reminder 2-3 months in advance to start using up the ingredients.

Let me know in the comments if you already have these in your pantry. If not, are you going to grab some on your next shopping trip?

Happy prepping and eating!

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