Eat Healthy to Help Prevent Heart
You can lower your chances of getting heart
disease by eating healthy. For a healthy heart, eat:
- Less Fat
- Less Sodium
- Fewer Calories
- More Fiber
Eat less fat
Some fats are more likely to cause heart
disease. These fats are usually found in foods from
animals, such as meat, milk, cheese, and butter. They also are found
in foods with palm and coconut
oils. Eat less of these foods.
Eat less sodium
Eating less sodium can help lower some
people's blood pressure. This can help reduce the risk of
heart disease. Sodium is something we need in our diets,
but most of us eat too much of it. Much of the sodium we eat comes
from salt we add to our food at the table or that food companies add
to their foods. So, avoid adding salt to foods at the table.
Eat fewer calories
When we eat more calories than we need, we
gain weight. Being overweight can cause heart disease. When we eat
fewer calories than we need, we lose weight.
Eat more fiber
Eating fiber from fruits, vegetables and
grains may help lower your chances of getting heart disease. To learn
more visit the fiber
Diet Tips for a Healthy Heart
- Eat a diet low in fat, especially animal
fats and palm and coconut oils. (These foods contain saturated fat
and cholesterol. Saturated fat and cholesterol can cause heart
- Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium.
- Maintain or improve your weight.
- Eat plenty of grain products, fruits and vegetables.
- Choose milk with 1% fat or skim milk instead of whole milk.
- Eliminate fried foods and replace them with baked, steamed,
boiled, broiled, or microwaved foods.
- Cook with oils which are low in fat and
saturated fat like corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean,
cottonseed, olive,canola, peanut and sesame oils. Stay away from oils
and shortenings that are high in fat and saturated fat.
- Smoked, cured, salted and canned meat, poultry and fish are high
in salt. Eat unsalted fresh or frozen meat,
poultry and fish.
- Replace fatty cuts of meat with lean cuts of
meat or low-fat meat alternatives.
- In recipes requiring one whole
egg try two egg whites as a lower fat alternative.
- Replace sour cream and mayonnaise with plain
low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or low-fat
sour cream and mayonnaise.
- Substitute hard and processed cheeses for low-fat, low-sodium
- Use herbs and spices as seasoning for vegetables and potatoes
instead of salt and butter.
- Replace salted crackers with unsalted
or low-sodium whole-wheat crackers.
- Substitute canned soups,bouillons and dry soup mixes which are
high in salt for sodium-reduced soups and bouillons.
- Replace white bread, white rice, and cereals
made with white flour with whole-wheat bread, long-grain rice, and
- Substitute snacks high in salt and fat with
low-fat, low salt snacks. Cut-up vegetables and fruits are a quick
Read the Food Label
The food label can help you eat less fat
and sodium, fewer calories and more fiber.
Look for certain words on food labels. The words can
help you spot foods that may help reduce your chances of getting
Words to Look For:
- Fat-free Saturated fat-free
- Low saturated fat
- Reduced or less fat
- Reduced or less saturated fat
- Reduced or less cholesterol
- Extra lean
- Light in sodium
- Lightly salted
- Reduced or less sodium
- Reduced or fewer calories
- More or added fiber
Read the Food Label
Look at the side or back of the package.
Here, you will find "Nutrition Facts." Look for these
- Total fat
- Saturated fat
Look at the %Daily Value listed next to each term. If it
is 5% or less for fat, saturated fat, cholesterol,
and sodium, the food is low in these nutrients. That's
good. It means the food fits in with a diet that is heart healthy and
may help reduce your chance of developing heart disease.
For additional information visit:
Attack and Atherosclerosis Prevention.
Last Editorial Review: 8/25/1999 8:08:00 PM