Follow these guidelines for a heart healthy diet:
Maintain a healthy weight: Your risk of heart disease is higher if you are overweight. Your doctor may suggest that you lose weight if you are overweight. The following are some diet changes you can make to lose weight.
- Eat fewer calories: A healthy way of decreasing calories is to eat fewer foods that have added sugars and fats. Some foods that have added sugars are sweet drinks (soda and fruit drinks), candy, cakes, cookies and pies.
- Eat smaller portions: You can also decrease calories in your diet by eating smaller portions at each meal and eating fewer snacks.
Decrease sodium in your diet to less than 2300 mg each day: Sodium is found in table salt and foods that have added salt. A diet that is lower in sodium may decrease blood pressure or prevent high blood pressure. Keep your blood pressure within a normal range to decrease your risk of stroke, heart disease and heart failure.
Include omega-3 fats in your diet: Eat two servings of fish per week. One serving is about four ounces. Fish is a good source of healthy omega-3 fats. Most fish contain some mercury, but many fish contain levels that are not harmful to most people. Higher amounts of mercury can be harmful to pregnant women and children who should avoid eating fish, such as shark or swordfish, that are high in mercury. Fish that have lower amounts of mercury include salmon, canned light tuna and catfish.Include high fiber foods in your diet each day:
You can decrease your risk of heart disease by following a diet that is high in fiber. Include fruit and vegetables, legumes (beans), and whole-grain foods in your diet each day to get enough fiber. Limit alcohol:
Drinking too much alcohol can damage your brain, heart and liver. The risk of stroke, getting high blood pressure and certain types of cancer are greater for people who drink too much alcohol. Women should limit alcohol to one drink a day. Men should limit alcohol to two drinks a day. A drink of alcohol is 12 ounces of beer, or five ounces of wine. One and one-half ounces of liquor, such as whiskey, is one drink of alcohol. If you drink alcohol, talk to your doctor.
More Answers from Riverside Heart and Vascular Center