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Heart Disease: Nutrition

Modify Diet

Healthy eating is not a diet; it is a lifestyle. Overall this means choosing a healthy amount of calories and nutritious foods to eat over time.

“Others, who have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease, find that watching the amount of and kinds of fat they eat can help control their blood cholesterol levels,” according to “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions.”

The American Heart Association recommends:

  • Eat lean meats and poultry prepared without added saturated fats and trans fat.

  • Eat fish twice a week, especially those rich in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild caught salmon or sardines).

  • Reduce intake of beverages with added sugars, such as sodas and juice.

  • Reduce salt intake, with an aim to eat no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day (~ 1 ¼ teaspoons).

A simple way to eat healthy is to select foods that are close to their original state and avoid processed foods. For example, a baked potato with skin instead of French fries. Also consider color because a healthy diet should have a rainbow of colors from many vegetables and fruits. Get grocery shopping tips from the American Heart Association with advice on reading nutrition labels and shopping on a budget.

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