The top 8 heart-healthy foods

What Heart-Healthy Foods should I eat to stay healthy?

The food pyramid was created by the U.S. government to help Americans eat healthier. This guide shows you which foods are good for you and which ones aren’t.

Foods high in fiber and low in fat are better choices than those loaded with sugar or salt. These include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy, and lean meats.

Foods that prevent heart disease

Although you may be aware that consuming particular heart-healthy foods can increase your risk of developing heart disease, it can be difficult to change your dietary habits. Here are eight heart-healthy diet suggestions:) whether you’ve been eating badly for years or just want to tweak your diet. You’ll be well on your way to a heart-healthy lifestyle once you know which heart-healthy foods to eat more of and which ones to limit.

1. Control your portion size

Both what you eat and how much of it matter. Consuming more calories than necessary might result from overfilling your plate, going back for seconds, and stopping when you’re full. Restaurant portions are frequently larger than anyone needs.

You may improve the health of your heart and waistline as well as your nutrition by following a few easy recommendations for portion control:

  • To help you regulate your servings, use a tiny plate or dish.
  • Eat more nutrient-rich, low-calorie heart-healthy foods like fruits and vegetables.
  • Consume high-calorie, high-sodium items in moderation, such as refined, processed, or fast food.

Additionally, it’s critical to monitor your serving sizes. Some points to remember are:

  • A serving size is a predetermined portion of food that is determined by regular measurements like cups, ounces, or pieces. One serving of spaghetti, for instance, is equal to around 1/3 to 1/2 cup, or roughly the size of a hockey puck. Approximately 2 to 3 ounces, or about the size and thickness of a deck of cards, make up a dish of meat, fish, or fowl.
  • Depending on the particular diet or dietary rules you’re adhering to, the suggested serving size for each food group may change.
  • Serving size estimation is a taught ability. A scale or measuring cups and spoons may be necessary until you feel comfortable using your judgment

2. Eat more fruits and veggies

Fruits and vegetables to chooseFruits and vegetables to limit
Fresh or frozen vegetables and fruitsCoconut
Low-sodium canned vegetablesVegetables with creamy sauces
Canned fruit packed in juice or waterFried or breaded vegetables
Canned fruit packed in heavy syrup
Frozen fruit with sugar added
Heart-healthy vegetables

3. Select whole grains

Grain products to chooseGrain products to limit or avoid
Whole-wheat flourWhite, refined flour
Whole-grain bread, preferably 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain breadWhite bread
High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more fiber in a servingMuffins
Whole grains such as brown rice, barley, and buckwheat (kasha)Frozen waffles
Whole-grain pastaCornbread
Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular)Doughnuts
Quick bread
Egg noodles
Buttered popcorn
High-fat snack crackers
Heart-healthy food list

4. Limit unhealthy fats

Fats to chooseFats to limit
Olive oilButter
Canola oilLard
Vegetable and nut oilsBacon fat
Margarine, trans-fat-freeGravy
Cholesterol-lowering margarine, such as Benecol, Promise Activ, or Smart BalanceCream sauce
Nuts, seedsNondairy creamers
AvocadosHydrogenated margarine and shortening
Cocoa butter, found in chocolate
Coconut, palm, cottonseed, and palm kernel oils
Heart-healthy fats list

5. Choose low-fat protein sources

list of heart-healthy foods and snacks

Proteins to chooseProteins to limit or avoid
Low-fat dairy products, such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt, and cheeseFull-fat milk and other dairy products
EggsOrgan meats, such as liver
Fish, especially fatty, cold-water fish, such as salmonFatty and marbled meats
Skinless poultrySpareribs
LegumesHot dogs and sausages
Low-fat dairy products, such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt, and cheeseBacon
Lean ground meatFried or breaded meats
Heart-healthy proteins list

6. Limit or reduce salt (sodium)

Low-salt items to chooseHigh-salt items to limit or avoid
Herbs and spicesTable salt
Salt-free seasoning blendsCanned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners
Canned soups or prepared meals with no added salt or reduced saltTomato juice
Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchupCondiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise, and soy sauce
Restaurant meals
Heart-healthy salt list

7. prepared: Make a daily menu.

Use the six tactics from the above list to create daily menus. Put an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, and healthy grains when choosing heart-healthy foods for each meal and snack. Limit your intake of salty foods and go for lean protein sources and healthy fats. Keep an eye on your portion sizes and diversify your menu options.

For instance, the following night, if you had grilled salmon the night before, try a black bean burger. This makes it more likely that you’ll consume all the nutrients your body requires. Meals and snacks are more entertaining when they are varied.

8. Permitting yourself the occasional reward

Allow yourself to occasionally treat yourself. Your heart-healthy diet won’t be ruined by a candy bar or a bag of chips. But don’t let it become a justification for abandoning your diet. Over time, you’ll achieve equilibrium if overindulgence is the exception rather than the rule. The majority of the time, eating heart-healthy foods is what matters.

If you follow these eight suggestions, you’ll discover that eating heart-healthily is both achievable and fun. You may prepare meals with your heart in mind by using a few straightforward adjustments.

heart-healthy foods list American heart association

Heart-Healthy Foods

The best defense against and treatment for cardiovascular disease is a healthy diet and way of life. It’s not as difficult as you may believe. Keep in mind that it’s your general pattern of decisions that matters. For long-term advantages to your health and your heart, incorporate the straightforward measures below into your daily routine.

Use up at least the same number of calories as you consume.

  • To start, figure out how many calories you need to consume each day to stay at a healthy weight. Usually, the nutritional and calorie information on food labels is based on a daily calorie intake of 2,000. Depending on your age, gender, and level of physical activity, you can need fewer or more calories.
  • Increase your physical activity levels and intensity to burn more calories.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity or 75 minutes per week of intense activity (or an equal mix of each).

Maintaining your weight, keeping off the weight you lose, and achieving physical and cardiovascular fitness can all be accomplished with regular exercise. If scheduling regular exercise is challenging, look for methods to include little periods of action into your daily schedule, such as parking further away and using the stairs rather than the elevator. Your activity should ideally be spread out throughout the course of the week.

Eat a diet that is generally healthful and places an emphasis on:

  • several different fruits and vegetables
  • entire grains and goods that mostly contain whole grains
  • Healthy sources of protein include fish, seafood, low-fat or nonfat dairy, legumes, and nuts, and if you eat meat or poultry, lean, unprocessed meat.
  • non-tropical vegetable oils in liquid form
  • little-processed food
  • reduced consumption of added sugars
  • prepared heart-healthy foods that contain minimal or no salt
  • minimal or ideally no alcohol consumption

Wherever food is made or consumed, follow these guidelines.

Regardless of whether food is produced at home, delivered in a restaurant or online, or bought as a prepared meal, it is possible to maintain a heart-healthy dietary pattern. Choose packaged heart-healthy foods with lower sodium, added sugars, and saturated fat by carefully reading the Nutrition Facts and ingredient list on the packaging. To locate meals that have been deemed heart-healthy by the American Heart Association, look for the Heart-Check symbol.

Live Without Tobacco

Avoid secondhand smoke or mist as well as using tobacco or nicotine products.


Heart-healthy foods include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry, eggs, olive oil, and dairy products.

Heart-healthy foods can help prevent or reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

A diet rich in these heart-healthy foods will lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis, and other chronic diseases.


Q. What heart-healthy foods prevent heart attacks?

A. The best diet for preventing heart disease includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils. It also includes alcohol, if at all, in moderation, and limits red and processed meats, refined carbohydrates, heart-healthy foods and beverages with added sugar and sodium, as well as heart-healthy foods and beverages with trans fats.

Q. Is milk good for the heart?

A. Milk and yogurt can benefit your heart health, so dairy lovers rejoice. Dairy consumption has been related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a global study.

Q. Is peanut butter heart-healthy?

A. Oleic acid is one of the major fats in peanut butter. Oleic acid has been demonstrated to help maintain healthy blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol when it is substituted for other fats in your diet. The risk of heart disease can be decreased by controlling these levels in your body. Omega-6 is also present in peanut butter.

Q. Is coffee heart-healthy?

A. According to studies being presented at the 71st Annual Scientific Session of the American College of Cardiology, drinking coffee—especially two to three cups a day—is not only linked to a lower risk of heart disease and harmful cardiac rhythms but also to living longer.

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