What is heart-healthy diet?

Heart-Healthy Diet
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Heart-healthy diet: Overview

A heart-healthy diet has lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and whole grains, and is low in salt. It limits foods that are high in saturated fat, such as meats, cheeses, and fried foods. It may be hard to change your diet, but even small changes can lower your risk of heart attack and heart disease.

How can you get started with heart-healthy eating?

Heart-healthy eating is a great way to improve your health. But making changes can be hard. It might help to explore your reasons and learn from changes you've made in the past.

Think about what matters to you.

You're more likely to stay with your plan when you're inspired by your own reasons.

Think about what makes it hard to change.

Most people feel unsure about change at first. Ask yourself: When you think of heart-healthy eating, what don't you like about it? What are some positive things about it?

Think about what worked before.

You've probably made big changes before. Maybe there were times when you were able to stay with your plan, and other times when it was harder. What helped you succeed before? Can you use that wisdom now?

Remember that healthy eating is not about dieting. Start with a few small changes, and add more as you feel ready.

What is heart-healthy eating?

Heart-healthy eating means eating food that can help lower your risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. These foods include vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, lean meat, fish, and whole grains. You limit foods that are not so good for your heart, like sodium, alcohol, and sugar.

Heart-healthy diet: When to call

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You would like help planning heart-healthy meals.

Who can benefit from heart-healthy eating?

Heart-healthy eating is for everyone. It's not just for people who have heart problems or who are at a high risk for heart problems. Heart-healthy eating focuses on adding more healthy foods to your plan and cutting back on foods that aren't so good for you.

How can you adapt recipes for a heart-healthy diet?

Small changes to your recipes can help you make meals that are healthier for your heart. For example, use olive oil or canola oil instead of shortening or lard. Replace whole milk or sour cream with low-fat kinds. Use ground turkey or extra-lean ground beef instead of regular ground beef.

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The content above contains general health information provided by Healthwise, Incorporated, and reviewed by its medical experts. This content should not replace the advice of your healthcare provider. Not all treatments or services described are offered as services by us. For recommended treatments, please consult your healthcare provider.