What is a heart healthy diet?

Has a physician ever recommended that you follow a heart healthy diet?  A lot of people with heart disease or diabetes are encouraged to eat a heart healthy diet but aren’t given guidance on what this means. We’ve compiled some of the best tips here so you can get started on your heart healthy lifestyle.

DO eat:

  1. Fruits and vegetables
  2. Whole grains such as brown rice and oatmeal
  3. Low-fat dairy such as cheese, milk, or yogurt
  4. Poultry such as chicken and turkey
  5. Fish
  6. Beans and peas
  7. Vegetable oils such as canola or olive
  8. Nuts

LIMIT the following:

  1. Sweets like candy, ice cream or baked goods
  2. Sugar-sweetened beverages such as soda, sweet tea or coffee drinks
  3. Red meats such as beef and pork
  4. Saturated fats found in processed meats, animal fat, coconut oil, etc.

Reducing sodium intake is an important component of a heart healthy diet. Aim for no more than 2400mg of sodium or one teaspoon of tablet salt, per day. For most people, the salt in their diet doesn’t come from the salt shaker but from certain foods they buy. Use these tips when shopping and cooking:

  1. Buy fresh, plain frozen, or canned “no salt added” food. Avoid canned or processed foods.
  2. Cut back on frozen dinners, pizza, canned soups or broths, and salad dressings.
  3. Rinse canned foods to remove some salt.
  4. Choose ready-to-eat breakfast cereals low in sodium.
  5. Remember the kind of food that has more than 1000mg of sodium: fast food burger or hot dog, one large slice of pizza, or one can of soup.

The following apps can be helpful to track what you eat:

  1. MyFitnessPal Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker for iphone
  2. MyDashDiet for iphone
  3. Sodium Tracker for iphone
  4. EZ Sodium Tracker for iphone and Android

Following a heart healthy diet is good for anyone, whether or not your doctor has recommended one. A healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, is the first line of defense for many common health conditions, like heart disease and diabetes. The American Heart Association also lists guidelines for a heart healthy diet and simple healthy recipes to try.

For more information about Tria Health, visit our website.

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