A selection of healthy ingredients

Designing a Diet to Fight Heart Disease

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. There are many factors that contribute to the risk of heart disease, but one of the most important is a poor diet. Here is a look at some changes you can make to your diet to fight heart disease.  

Reduce your sodium intake. 

High blood pressure can lead to heart attack. To help lower it, cut back on your sodium intake for your heart disease diet. The daily suggested intake for sodium is no more than 2400 milligrams. Avoid foods high in sodium and limit the amount of table salt you add to food in order to stay under this limit. 

Avoid red meat. 

Processed meat like sausage are bad for your heart. However, both processed and unprocessed red meat is high in saturated fat. Eating foods like this on a regular basis raises your cholesterol levels, which increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Say no to sugary drinks. 

One soda or other sugary drink per day can increase your risk of heart attack by 20%. Regular consumption of these drinks can lead to unwanted and unhealthy weight gain, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Instead, opt for low-sugar alternatives like unsweetened tea or water.

Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. 

Eating meals filled with fruits and vegetables lowers your risk of heart disease. Fruits and vegetables are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber—all of which are great for your heart and health in general. Additionally, they’re low in calories, so eating a large quantities isn't as detrimental to your health. 

Eat more whole grains. 

Whole grains are an excellent source of fiber and other nutrients. Eating whole grains improves your cholesterol levels and lowers your risk of heart disease, stroke, and obesity. Whole grains can also help manage weight, since dietary fiber makes you feel full and less likely to overeat. 

Opt for egg whites over whole eggs. 

Egg whites are a great way to add protein to your new heart-healthy diet without adding much fat or cholesterol. Additionally, eating egg whites over whole eggs reduces the total number of calories you consume, making weight gain less likely. 

Last Updated: April 18, 2018