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A Heart Healthy Diet

A well balanced diet is important in preventing heart disease. Below are recommendations from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for American to help lower your risk for heart disease. Also included are some tips to help you understand and meet these guidelines.

 

Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.

  • A variety of vegetables: leafy vegetables, multiple colors, starchy and non-starchy
  • Fruits especially whole fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Low fat diary
  • Protein: seafood, eggs, lean meats poultry, beans nuts, seeds or soy products

 

Focus on variety, nutrient density and amount.

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to cover your vitamin and mineral needs, strive to eat the colors of the rainbow in fruits and vegetables
  • Eat nutrient dense foods such as spinach, berries, Brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes and nuts and seeds

 

Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.

  • Cut back on sweetened beverages
  • Cut back on processed meats (like lunch or sandwich meats) as they are high in saturated fats
  • Season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, onions, pepper and lemon or lime juice instead of salt to add flavor

 

 Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.

  • Eat foods with omega-3 fatty acids: canola oil, walnuts, omega-3 eggs or fatty fishes such as salmon, trout or albacore tuna
  • Consume 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruits each day
  • Focus on eating whole grains instead of refined grains, 50% of your grains should come from whole grain sources
  • When selecting beverages, flavored water tea and low-fat milk are great healthy options over sweetened beverages

 

Download the PDF version of this article.

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