When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Follow these tips for heart-healthy eating:
- Eat less saturated fat and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
- Cut down on sodium (salt). Look for the low-sodium or “no salt added” types of canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
- Get more fiber. Eat vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to add fiber to your diet.
Take this list with you the next time you go food shopping.
Vegetables and Fruits
Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. Buy vegetables and fruits that are in season, frozen, or canned.
- Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli
- Leafy greens for salads, like spinach and kale
- Canned vegetables low in sodium (salt)
- Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces
- Fresh fruits such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
- Canned fruit in 100% juice, not syrup
- Frozen or dried fruit (unsweetened)
Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products. Or choose soymilk with added calcium.
- Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
- Fat-free or low-fat yogurt (choose options with less added sugar)
- Cheese (3 grams of fat or less per serving)
- Fat-free or low-fat soymilk with calcium
Breads, Cereals, and Grains
For products with more than 1 ingredient, make sure whole wheat or another whole grain is listed first.
- 100% whole-wheat bread
- Whole-grain breakfast cereals like oatmeal
- Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
- Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta
Meat, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
Choose lean cuts of meat and other foods with protein.
- Seafood, including fish and shellfish
- Chicken and turkey breast without skin
- Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
- Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, extra lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
- Beans, lentils, and peas
- Eggs and egg substitutes
- Unsalted nuts and seeds
Fats and Oils
Cut back on saturated fat and look for products with no trans fats.
- Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
- Vegetable oil (canola, olive, peanut, or sesame)
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Light mayonnaise
- Salad dressings that are oil based instead of creamy