Heart-healthy eating means eating food that can help lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. It focuses on eating more healthy foods and cutting back on foods that aren't so good for you. It is part of a heart-healthy lifestyle that includes regular activity and not smoking.
A heart-healthy eating plan means that you:
- Eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and other high-fiber foods.
- Eat lean proteins, such as seafood, lean meats, beans, nuts, and soy products.
- Eat healthy fats, such as canola and olive oil.
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat and avoid trans fat.
- Limit sodium and alcohol.
- Limit drinks and foods with added sugar.
- Stay at a healthy weight by balancing the calories you eat with your physical activity.
There are a few heart-healthy eating plans. They include the DASH diet and the Mediterranean diet.
The DASH diet is an eating plan that can help lower your blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. It includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy. It also includes fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and seeds.
The Mediterranean diet is a heart-healthy style of eating. It features foods eaten in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. This diet emphasizes food rich in fiber and healthy fats. These include fruits, vegetables, nuts, fish, and high-fiber grains. The diet limits meat, cheese, and sweets.