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Heart Disease Health Center

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Action Set
Healthy Eating: Eating Heart-Healthy Foods

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. If you are worried about heart disease, one of the most important things you can do is to start eating a heart-healthy diet. Changing your diet can help stop or even reverse heart disease.

At first, it may seem like there is a lot to learn. But you don't have to make these changes all at once. Start with small steps. Over time, making a number of small changes can add up to a big difference in your heart health.

To have a heart-healthy diet:

  • Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and other high-fiber foods.
  • Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
  • Limit salt (sodium).
  • Stay at a healthy weight by balancing the calories you eat with your physical activity.
  • Eat more foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish.
  • Limit drinks and foods with added sugar.

how.gif  How to eat a heart-healthy diet

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Other Works Consulted

  • American Heart Association (2006). Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006. Circulation, 114(1): 82–96. [Erratum in Circulation, 114(1): e27.]

  • Eckel RH, et al. (2013). 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/11/11/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.citation. Accessed December 5, 2013.

  • Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents (2011). Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: Summary report. Pediatrics, 128(Suppl 5): S213–S256.

  • Johnson RK, et al. (2009). Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 120(11): 1011–1020.

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2010). Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, 7th ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Also available online: http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2010.asp.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Specialist Medical Reviewer Colleen Gobert, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
Current as of March 12, 2014

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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