Skip to content
    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    9 Heart-Healthy Eating Tips

    Choosing the right foods can help manage symptoms of heart disease and help 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 9 strategies to help you eat right with heart disease:

    Recommended Related to Food and Recipes

    Why Are Blackberries Good for Me?

    By Keri Glassman, MS, RD, CDN Berries are an MVP in my nutrition playbook. High in antioxidants, fiber and flavor, they won’t let you down. Blackberries grow on thorny bushes in Asia, North and South America and across Europe, and they're ripe for the picking in late summer through the fall. Are you champing at the bit to eat some yet? I know I am. Ever wonder why all those little seeds get stuck in your teeth? Technically, the blackberry isn’t a true berry, but actually an aggregate fruit. This...

    Read the Why Are Blackberries Good for Me? 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. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Eat less salt. Excess salt can raise blood pressure. Adding foods rich in other minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and calcium is also important.
    8. 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.
    9. 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 April 10, 2015

    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

    disciplining a boy
    Types, symptoms, causes.
    fruit drinks
    Eat these to think better.
    embarrassed woman
    Do you feel guilty after eating?
    diabetes supply kit
    Pack and prepare.
    handful of vegetables and vitamins
    Diet tips and mistakes.
    birth control pills
    Which kind is right for you?
    Remember your finger
    Are you getting more forgetful?
    sticky notes on face
    10 tips to clear your brain fog.
    Close up of eye
    12 reasons you're distracted.
    Trainer demonstrating exercise for RA
    Exercises for your joints.
    apple slices with peanut butter
    What goes best with workouts?
    woman having a good day
    Revitalize your life.

    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.