Eating Right for a Healthier Heart

Eating fewer high fat, high cholesterol foods and watching calories are important steps to a healthier diet and a healthier heart.

Guideline For a Healthy Diet

With your doctor; determine number of calories you need each day to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight.

  • Eat fewer high-fat foods
  • Lower cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day
  • Keep fat intake to 30% of your total daily calories
  • Choose foods high in starch and fiber
  • Replace some saturated fat with unsaturated fat (limit saturated fat to 8% to 10% of total daily calories)
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation

To Choose Low-Fat Products, Ask Yourself:

  1. Is fat a major ingredient? Read food labels. To avoid too much fat or cholesterol, go easy on products that list any ingredient high in saturated fat or cholesterol first (egg, oils, lard, cheese).
  2. Is there more than one type of fat in the product? When you see several high fat ingredients on ingredients on a label, the product could have too much fat.
  3. Is the serving size appropriate? When you are figuring out the fat content in a food, make sure you use a serving size that is close to what you would really eat-which could be more than the label says.

Eating Out

Be just as careful when dinning out, as you are when you make your own meals!

  • Salad - Use vegetable oil and vinegar dressings
  • Bread - Use margarine instead of butter if desired
  • Chicken - Eat broiled or grilled chicken; remove skin before eating
  • Steak - Ask the chef to trim off excess fat before cooking
  • Hamburger - Avoid cheese or mayonnaise toppings, add tomato or lettuce instead
  • Fish - select broiled or poached fillets
  • Pasta - Use marinara, clam or tomato sauce without meat or sausage (avoid cream sauce).
  • Pizza - Choose vegetable toppings instead of cheese or meat toppings
  • Baked potato - Avoid toppings such as butter or sour cream
  • Vegetables - Eat plenty of these, but without heavy sauces
  • Dessert - Sherbet and fresh fruit are excellent choices
  • Coffee, Tea - Use skim milk or nondairy, nonfat creamer

A fresh approach to nutrition for patients with high blood pressure

Nutritional Program Goals

Lose Weight 
Being significantly overweight can be hazardous to your health. Too much weight can lead to high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease. Often just losing weight will help reduce blood pressure.

Reduce Dietary Fat 
Cutting fat out of your diet is an easy way to reduce calories. High-fat foods are also the primary sources of cholesterol. A high level of cholesterol in the blood is another major risk factor for heart disease.

Reduce Salt Intake
Most Americans take in far more salt than they need. Salt cause the body to retain fluid and make the kidneys work harder. This may raise blood pressure in some people. Just cutting down on salt lowers blood pressure for may people.

Increase Fiber
Foods high in fiber are usually low in calories. Fiber may also help lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. And since high-fiber foods a digested more slowly, they satisfy hunger longer.

Balance Your Diet 
The key to healthy eating is to provide choices from all the major types of food. This means a balance of fruits and vegetables, breads and pastas, meat, fish, and poultry, as well as dairy products. It also means becoming aware of the amount of fat or salt contained in different foods of each group.