What is heart-healthy eating?
A heart-healthy diet focuses on adding more healthy foods to your diet and cutting back on foods that aren't so good for you. It is part of a Reference heart-healthy lifestyle that includes regular activity and not smoking.
The American Heart Association publishes Reference heart-healthy diet guidelines for all adults and for children older than age 2.
To put these guidelines into action, see:
If you already have heart or blood vessel problems, such as Reference high cholesterol Opens New Window or Reference high blood pressure Opens New Window, specific eating plans can help you manage those problems.
A few simple ideas
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and other high-fiber foods.
- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol.
- Limit salt, alcohol, and sugar.
What if you have high cholesterol?
The Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) diet aims to lower cholesterol by reducing saturated fat in your diet.
For help with the TLC diet, see:
To learn more, see:.
What if you have high blood pressure?
The DASH diet is a good choice for people who have high blood pressure. DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension. Hypertension is high blood pressure.
For help with the DASH diet, see:
To learn more, see a Reference sample menu for the DASH diet.
What is the Mediterranean diet?
The Mediterranean diet can also help lower cholesterol. Like the TLC diet, it limits saturated fat. But on the Mediterranean diet, you can eat more total fat—as long as it's unsaturated. It also allows more fish oils, olive oil, and nut and seed oils than the TLC diet.
For more information, see the topic Reference Mediterranean Diet.
How do you choose a diet?
With so many different food plans and health tips, it can be confusing to know what's best for you and your heart.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference March 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Colleen Gobert, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian