Skip to content

Information and Resources

10 Heart-Healthy Eating Tips

Choosing the right foods can help manage symptoms of heart disease and prevent further complications. Improving your diet and fitness can slow the artery-clogging process, and may even stop or reverse the narrowing of arteries. It also lowers your "bad" (LDL) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugars, and weight.

Heart-healthy eating isn’t only about staying away from foods that are off-limits. Adding certain types of foods is just as important as cutting back on others. Use these 10 strategies to help you eat right with heart disease:

Recommended Related to Diet & Weight Management

Order Smart at Food Chains

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D. Janis's Weekly Advice – The Supermarket

Read the Order Smart at Food Chains article > >

  1. Know the basics. The foundation of your food plan is simple: Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and legumes. They’re all powerful foods that help you fight heart disease.
  2. Make it delicious. Healthy food can be tasty! Liking what you're eating helps you to stick with the plan. Ask your doctor if she can recommend a dietitian who will help you with cooking tips or advice on ordering when dining out.
  3. Get enough protein. Include a variety of protein foods (lean meat, low-fat dairy products, beans, nuts, legumes, and fish).
  4. Limit fat. Avoid eating saturated fats (butter, full-fat dairy products, fatty cuts of meats) and trans fats (found in some packaged baked goods, microwave popcorn, and deep-fried foods). Favor monounsaturated fats (canola and olive oils and some nuts, for example), and follow your doctor's guidelines about how much fat is too much.
  5. Limit cholesterol. Keep in mind that cholesterol is usually found in the same animal foods as saturated fat.
  6. Choose the right kinds of carbs. When you eat a meal, half of the calories should come from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, or other plant foods. Limit sugary items.
  7. Don’t skip meals. Missing a meal sets you up to overeat. Having five to six mini-meals is a solution, as long as you don't go overboard on calories.
  8. Eat less salt. Salt can raise blood pressure. Adding foods rich in other minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium is also important.
  9. Exercise every day. Exercise strengthens your heart, improves blood flow, curbs high blood pressure, raises HDL "good," cholesterol, and helps control blood sugars and body weight.
  10. Hydrate. Staying well-hydrated makes you feel energetic and eat less. Ask your doctor about how much water you should drink each day, in case you need any restrictions. And remember, foods that are rich in water count, too.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 20, 2013

Hot Topics

WebMD Video: Now Playing

Click here to wach video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Which sex is the worst about washing up? Why is it so important? We’ve got the dirty truth on how and when to wash your hands.

Click here to watch video: Dirty Truth About Hand Washing

Popular Slideshows & Tools on WebMD

MS Overview
Recognizing symptoms.
feet
Solutions for 19 types.
pregnancy test and calendar
Helping you get pregnant.
build a better butt
How to build a better butt.
lone star tick
How to identify that bite.
woman standing behind curtains
How it affects you.
brain scan with soda
Tips to avoid complications.
row of colored highlighter pens
Tips for living better.
psoriasis
How to keep flares at bay.
woman dreaming
What Do Your Dreams Say About You?
spinal compression fracture
Treatment options.

Pollen counts, treatment tips, and more.

It's nothing to sneeze at.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Women's Health Newsletter

Find out what women really need.