Heart Healthy Diet Recommendations
Brought to You by St. Luke's Dietitians
A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as hard as you may think! Healthy eating for your heart can be simple once you know the basic guidelines on which foods to choose and which to limit or avoid. Here are some basic heart healthy eating tips to steer you in the right direction:
- Limit saturated fats. You can find saturated fats in fatty meat, chicken and turkey skin, whole fat diary items, cream, and butter.
- Choose low fat dairy such as 1% or skim milk, and reduced fat cheeses.
- Choose lean meats, also mind the portion size of meat and stick to 3-4 ounces (the size of a deck of cards.)
- Avoid trans-fat as much as possible. Dietary sources of trans-fat are stick margarine, shortening, fried foods, and food made with partially hydrogenated oils.
- Limit dietary cholesterol by eating less than 200mg per day. Foods that are high in cholesterol are egg yolks, fatty meats, lobster, crab, shrimp, and whole milk.
- Do choose to have more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids are salmon, tuna, mackerel. Have these fatty fish at least two times per week. Walnuts, canola, and flaxseed are also other sources of these heart healthy unsaturated fats.
- Aim to have 20-30 grams of fiber each day. Fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Limit sodium intake by not salting foods while eating or during cooking. Try to avoid high salt items such as processed meats like sausage, bacon, lunchmeats, and hot dogs. Also avoid canned items like canned vegetable and soups, which can be high in salt as well. Choose fresh or frozen vegetables and eat less processed foods.