When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Follow these general tips for heart-healthy eating:
- Eat less saturated 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. Fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
And 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 one 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