Heart Healthy Foods List

March 15, 2022 2:38 pm Published by

Heart disease affects about 121.5 million U.S. adults—about half the population. While some factors that increase your risk for heart disease are beyond your control—age, sex and race—you can lower your risk with 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week and a heart-healthy diet. The next time you go grocery shopping, take along this heart-healthy foods list.

Fat-Free Dairy

Calcium is important for bones and blood vessels, but the saturated fat in high-fat dairy is terrible for heart health. When shopping for dairy products like milk, cheese or yogurt, opt for:

  • Calcium-fortified soymilk, almond milk and oat milk
  • Fat-free options
  • Low-fat options

Fruits

Fruits are excellent sources of potassium, fiber and vitamin C. Berries, in particular, are full of antioxidants that are great for your heart health.

Stock up on some of these fruits:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Cherries
  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Mangos
  • Oranges
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries

Proteins

Protein is necessary for your body, but meats high in saturated fats can increase your cholesterol and high blood pressure. Instead, shop for proteins low in saturated fats, including:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Eggs
  • Lean meat, like 93% lean ground beef
  • Poultry, such as skinless chicken or turkey
  • Seafood
  • Unsalted nuts and seeds

Vegetables

Vegetables are loaded with nutrients and phytochemicals (compounds found in plant-based foods) that are great for your heart. Dark, leafy greens are best because they are rich in folate, an important B vitamin.

Some vegetable options to add to your grocery list:

  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Onions
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard

Whole Grains

Whole grains are a good source of dietary fiber, which can help lower your risk of heart disease. Whole grains also have plenty of vitamins and minerals that are good for your heart. When shopping, check the nutrition label for whole grain ingredients.

Some whole grains to bring home:

  • Barley
  • Brown rice
  • Couscous
  • Millet
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat
  • Wild rice

Foods to Avoid

While it’s important to eat from our heart-healthy foods list, it’s just as essential to avoid certain foods that are bad for your heart.

Take care to:

  • Avoid added sugars, like those found in sodas, candy and ice cream
  • Stay away from foods that are high in saturated fats, like fatty meats, butter, cheese, and some fried and baked foods
  • Reduce excess sodium, like that found in frozen convenience foods, some canned foods, and canned, cured, salted or smoked meat products

 

Have more questions on what to include in your diet? Make an appointment with a cardiologist.

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This post was written by Magnolia Regional Health Center

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