When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters.

When it comes to your heart, what you eat matters. Joan Katz, RD, LNHA, Chief Dietitian at Christian Health Care Center, offers the following tips for heart-healthy eating:

  1. Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
  2. Cut down on sodium. Look for the low-sodium or no-salt added canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
  3. Get more fiber. Fiber is in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

 Vegetables and Fruits
Eat a variety of vegetables and fruits. To be more cost-efficient, buy vegetables and fruits that are in season, frozen, or canned.

  • Fresh vegetables such as tomatoes, cabbage, and broccoli
  • Leafy greens for salads, like spinach and kale
  • Canned vegetables low in sodium
  • Frozen vegetables without added butter or sauces
  • Fresh fruits, such as apples, oranges, bananas, pears, and peaches
  • Canned fruit in 100-percent juice, not syrup
  • Frozen or dried fruit (unsweetened)

Milk and Milk Products
Look for fat-free or low-fat milk products, or choose soy products with added calcium.

  • Fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk
  • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
  • Cheese (three grams of fat or less per serving)
  • Fat-free or low-fat soy milk with calcium

Breads, Cereals, and Grains
For products with more than one ingredient, make sure whole wheat or another whole grain is listed first.

  • 100-percent whole-wheat bread
  • Whole-grain breakfast cereals, such as oatmeal
  • Whole grains such as brown or wild rice, barley, and bulgur
  • Whole-wheat or whole-grain pasta

Meat, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts
Choose lean cuts of meat and other foods with protein.

  • Seafood, including fish and shellfish
  • Chicken and turkey breast without skin
  • Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin
  • Beef: round, sirloin, tenderloin, extra-lean ground beef
  • Beans, lentils, and peas
  • Eggs and egg substitutes
  • Nuts and seeds

Fats and Oils
Cut back on saturated fat and look for products with no trans fats.

  • Margarine and spreads (soft, tub, or liquid) with no trans fats
  • Vegetable oil (canola, olive, or safflower)
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • Light or fat-free salad dressing and mayonnaise

 

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