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 Nutrition and Heart Disease

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Following a healthy diet is one of the best methods for preventing heart disease. A diet high in fat, salt and cholesterol can contribute to the development of heart disease.

What Is a Heart Healthy Diet?

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends eating a diet that includes vegetables and fruits, whole grains and high-fiber foods, lean meats and poultry, fish, and fat-free or one percent fat dairy products. A diet should also be low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and unrefined whole grains may help you control your weight, your blood pressure and your cholesterol.

By limiting foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients, and how much saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and sodium you eat, you can reduce your risk of heart disease. Reading food labels helps you choose foods that make up a healthful diet.

The AHA recommends the following:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin, and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Select fat-free, one-percent fat and low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.
  • Reduce or eliminate beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Try to eat less than 1,500 milligrams of sodium per day.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means one drink per day if you're a woman and two drinks per day if you're a man.
  • Follow the AHA recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on your portion sizes.

Heart Healthy Recipes/Cooking Tips​

A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons in the fight against heart disease. Try one of these heart healthy recipes or cooking suggestions today!

Angel Food Cake with Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Apple Crisp
Black Bean Hummus
Breakfast Wraps
Garbanzo Hummus
Meatloaf with Roasted Vegetables 
Red Pepper Hummus
Twice-Baked Potatoes and Herbs
Yogurt Parfait

Cooking Suggestions and Recipes for a Low Sodium Diet 
Popular Fat Controlled, Low Cholesterol Recipes
Recommended Cookbooks for Cholesterol and Sodium Control
Simple Ways to Change a Recipe

Resources for a Heart Healthy Diet

A Few Good N​utrition and Food Websites​
Heart Healthy Diet Basics
Heart Healthy Diet: Low Fat, Low Cholesterol, Low Sodium Diet
Heart Healthy Diet: Tips for Lowering Cholesterol and Fat in Your Diet
Restaurant Rehab: Using the Menu to Make Heart Healthy Choices