Getting to the Heart of a Healthful Diet
A heart-healthy lifestyle isn't about deprivation. It's about eating moremore fruits, more vegetables, more whole grains, and more unsaturated fats. When you focus on putting more of these nutrient-rich foods in your diet, there is naturally less room for the not-so-heart-friendly foodsthose high in saturated fat and low in nutrients.
Healthy eating habits can help you reduce three of the major risk factors for heart attack:
- High blood cholesterol
- High blood pressure
- Excess body weight
So how does this translate into your grocery list and on to your dinner plate? To help you eat the heart healthy way, The American Heart Association has created some guidelines. Click on each guideline below to find out what it means for you...
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose 5 or more servings per day.
- Eat a variety of grain products, including whole grains. Choose 6 or more servings per day.
- Include fat-free and low-fat milk products, fish, legumes (beans), skinless poultry, and lean meats.
- Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and/or cholesterol, such as full-fat milk products, fatty meats, tropical oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and egg yolks. Instead choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol from the first three points above.
- Choose fats with two grams or less saturated fat per serving, such as liquid and tub margarines, canola oil, and olive oil.
- Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks and candy that have a lot of sugars.
- Eat less than six grams of salt (sodium chloride) per day (2400 milligrams of sodium).
- Have no more than one alcoholic drink per day if you're a woman and no more than two if you're a man.