What is a Heart Healthy Diet?
Your diet can play a major role in your overall health, including your heart health. With so many diet plans and opinions around certain foods, it can be confusing to know if you’re eating a heart healthy diet. This blog aims to clarify some of the confusion.
A diet that can help prevent heart disease should include the following:
- A minimum of five servings per day of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains, nuts, fish and poultry
- Alcohol in moderation
- Limited consumption of red and processed meats, food and beverages with added sugar, and sodium
- Avoid foods with trans fat
One diet that is considered heart healthy is the Mediterranean diet. The Prevention with Mediterranean Diet study was the first large randomized controlled trial to show that a Mediterranean diet is able to reduce clinical events in primary cardiovascular prevention. The Mediterranean diet includes:
- High leafy green vegetable intake, fruits, whole grains, nuts, legumes, and extra virgin olive oil
- Moderate intake of fish, lean meats, low-fat dairy, and poultry
- Low intake of red meat and sweets
- Wine in moderation
Before starting any diet, be sure to consult with your physician.
- Essentials of Healthy Eating: A guide. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3471136/
- Preventing Heart Disease. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/disease-prevention/cardiovascular-disease/preventing-cvd/
- A Clinician’s Guide to Healthy Eating for Cardiovascular Disease. https://mcpiqojournal.org/article/S2542-4548(19)30072-4/fulltext
- Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet Supplemented with Extra-Virgin Olive Oil or Nuts. https://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1800389