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:
- Eat less saturated and trans fat. Stay away from fatty meats, fried foods, cakes, and cookies.
- Cut down on sodium. Look for the low-sodium or no-salt added canned soups, vegetables, snack foods, and lunch meats.
- 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