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Eating for heart health

Tips and eating habits that can help keep your heart healthy

There are a lot of things you can do to help protect your heart, but adding healthier foods to your diet is one of the best places to start. Eating a heart-healthy diet, like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, is easier than you think.

eating for heart healthHere are 11 ways to keep your heart in shape

To get started, try some of these tips from the American Heart Association (AHA):

  • Eat a variety of fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits without high-calorie sauces or added salt and sugars.
  • Choose fiber-rich whole grains for most grain servings.
  • Cut trans fat from your diet by avoiding foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
  • Choose poultry and fish without skin and cook them without adding saturated and trans fat. If you choose to eat meat, look for the leanest cuts.
  • Eat a variety of fish at least twice a week, especially fish like salmon, trout or herring, which have a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Select fat-free and low-fat dairy products.
  • Limit saturated and trans fat and replace them with the better fats like monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. If you need to lower your cholesterol, keep saturated fat to no more than 5-6% of total calories. For a diet of 2,000 calories a day, that’s about 13 grams of saturated fat.
  • Cut back on food and drinks with added sugars.
  • Choose foods with less sodium and make foods with little or no salt. To lower blood pressure, try to eat no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Lowering your daily intake to 1,500 milligrams is ideal, but even cutting your sodium intake by 1,000 milligrams per day can help blood pressure.
  • Don’t drink alcohol, but if you do, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day for women and no more than two drinks per day for men.
  • Keep an eye on your portion size to make sure you stay under recommended levels of saturated fat and sodium.

A healthy recipe that your heart will love

Looking for some motivation in the kitchen? Try this Farmers Market Chili recipe for a quick, heart-healthy meal from one of our registered dietitians.

Posted: June 28, 2021