Before you buy, read the labels. All food products have labels containing the content descriptions listing the calories and nutrients contained in the food. Be sure to note the serving size listed at the top of the label.

The American Heart Association recommends you chose food items that have low percentages of fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium. High sodium intake can contribute to high blood pressure for some people. A content of 30% or less of fat, cholesterol or sodium is considered good, with 15 to 20% being even better.

For labeling to claim that an item helps prevent heart disease, the food must be low in fat, saturated fat and cholesterol. Food with health claims for blood pressure should be low in sodium. Diets to help prevent cancer should be high in fruits and vegetables and low in fat. Foods said to fight osteoporosis need to be high in calcium.