Heart Healthy Diet : Eating Heart Healthy Food

Heart Healthy Diet : Eating Heart Healthy Food

The old saying is “you are what you eat,” and that is true when we eat a diet that is healthy for our heart. Making proper menu choices does not require education or an advanced degree, just a desire to be healthy. Healthy eating begins with healthy food choices. Avoiding processed foods and at all too convenient fast food joints is just the starting point. We here at HPFY can point you in the right direction for eating a heart-healthy diet and supplements that can help.

Benefits of a Heart-Healthy Diet

As you can imagine, a diet rich in trans fats and sodium should be avoided at all costs. Eating a heart-healthy diet can benefit you in a multitude of ways. Since our hearts are the focal point of our overall health, reaping the benefits of a heart-healthy diet cannot be understated. Some benefits of a heart-healthy diet can include:

  • Lower risk of heart attack/stroke
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Manage cholesterol
  • Lower blood pressure

Just as you would start slowly with an exercise program, changing your diet can benefit from the same strategy. Make small changes at first to ease into your new diet. Eating fruit as a snack as opposed to junk food, switch from white bread to whole-grain bread, or even substitute fish for meat are examples of small steps you can take to start overhauling your diet for the health of your heart. Incorporate an Omega-3 supplement with your daily multivitamin for heart health is an easy way to kickstart your heart-healthy diet.

GAT Sport Omega-3 Dietary Supplement MET-Rx Active Women Daily Dietary Supplement PEScience Omega-3 Plus Dietary Supplement

Heart-Healthy Foods and Supplements

Understanding which foods can benefit your overall heart health can be confusing, so which foods should we look to and which ones should we avoid? Processed foods can be very high in sodium and sugars, not to mention they have nutrients that have been removed during processing. Also, foods that are high in trans fats are all on the no-fly list for a heart-healthy diet. A good rule of thumb is to eat only food that you have made yourself, this way you know the ingredients!! Some heart-healthy foods include:

  1. Leafy Green Vegetables: Look to vegetables such as spinach or kale since they have a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  2. Whole Grains: The three main nutrients of grain (germ, bran, and endosperm) are all present in whole grains. Great choices include brown rice, barley, and quinoa to name just a few.
  3. Berries: Berries such as strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are rich in nutrients that are crucial to heart health.
  4. Avocados: This creamy, wonderful ingredient in our guacamole has heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can reduce levels of cholesterol while lowering your risk of heart disease. Avocados can be used in many ways other than guacamole. Tasty and healthy!!
  5. Fish: Oily fish, such as salmon and tuna, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. When consumed as part of a heart-healthy diet, they can reduce diastolic blood pressure.
  6. Beans: Rich in protein, these legumes have been studied and found to reduce blood pressure and inflammation, as well as reducing triglycerides and cholesterol.
  7. Low/Fat-Free Dairy: Dairy products that are high in potassium have a blood pressure-lowering effect and choosing low-fat or fat-free dairy products, such as yogurt, gives you little to no saturated fat. That’s the bad fat that can raise your cholesterol level!!
  8. Nuts: There are an assortment of nuts that contain good fats. These can include walnuts, almonds, cashews, and pistachios. 5 ounces a week can potentially cut your risk of heart disease by 50%.
  9. Red Wine: A 4-ounce glass of red wine can help potentially improve HDL cholesterol (good) levels. Two glasses for men and one for women daily should be your target.
  10. Dark Chocolate: Seems counterintuitive to have chocolate on this list, but the fiber and protein increase with higher cocoa levels and the sugar levels are lower than milk chocolate. Try to target 70% cocoa or higher.
Zone Nutrition Bar Double Dark Chocolate

Keeping our hearts healthy begins with our diet. It can be difficult if you don’t know where to find the proper nutrition. Look for snacks that are beneficial to heart health instead of potato chips and try to slowly incorporate healthy food into your everyday diet. Yes, it might be difficult at first, but the benefits are well worth it. Remember, eat healthy…be healthy!!


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