A Heart-Healthy Diet

To lower your risk of heart disease, follow these recommendations:

Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight

Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood.

Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains.

If you are at high risk for heart disease or already have heart disease.

Find a Dietitian.

For helpful tips on incorporating these guidelines into your diet, here below are Heart-Healthy Cooking Tips.

Heart-Healthy Cooking Tips

To lower your risk of heart disease or to manage your existing disease, try these tips in preparation meals: Limit Fat, Especially Saturated and Trans Fat.

Remove all visible fat from meat before cooking.

Bake, boil, roast, stew or stir-fry lean meats, fish or poultry.

Drain the fat off of cooked, ground meat.

When you make a stew, soup or gravy, refrigerate leftovers and skim off the fat with a spoon before reheating and serving.

Eat fish regularly. Try different ways of cooking like baking, boiling, grilling and poaching.

Include plant foods as sources of protein, including soybeans, pinto beans, lentils and nuts.

Replace higher-fat cheeses with lower-fat options like reduced-fat feta and part-skim mozzarella.Thicken sauces with evaporated fat-free milk instead of whole milk.

Use liquid vegetables oils and soft margarine instead of stick margarine or shortening.

Limit consumption of cakes, cookies, crackers, pastries, pies, muffins, donuts and French fries.

These foods tend to be high in trans fats. Many food manufacturers have removed trans fats from their foods.

Check ingredient lists on food packages and avoid products containing partially hydrogenated oils.

Use a small amount of oils such as canola, olive and soybean in recipes.

Make salad dressings with olive, walnut or pecan oil.

Eat Foods Containing Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Select oils that provide omega-3 fatty acids, such as canola, flax-seed or soybean oil.

Add walnuts to cereal, salads or muffins. Try walnut oil in salad dressings, too. When buying eggs, check the package label. Remember all egg yolks contain cholesterol.

Reduce Salt (Sodium)

Prepare foods at home so you can control the amount of salt in your meals.

Use as little salt in cooking as possible.

Add no additional salt to food at the table.

Select reduced-sodium or no-salt-added canned soups and vegetables.

Check the Nutrition Facts panel for sodium and choose products with lower sodium content.

Season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, onions, peppers and lemon or lime juice to add flavor.

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