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No Heart Left Behind

Eat for Heart Health

A heart-healthy diet involves more than just avoiding fried foods. Experts recommend that in addition to limiting fats, we also consume more fruits and vegetables, choose whole grains and make healthier choices when dining out. High blood pressure can also be controlled by changing our food choices.

The person you are coaching will be asked to choose one of the following five guidelines to work on this coming week:

  • Reduce dietary fat and choose healthier fats. Switch to lower-fat dairy products and limit added fat at meals. Use healthier fats like olive oil or canola oil when cooking.Read more.
  • Add more whole grains. Strive to consume three or more servings of whole grains per day, such as whole-grain cereals, breads, pasta and crackers—even popcorn. Read more.
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. Include fruit at each meal and increase your servings of vegetables at dinner. Use fruits and raw vegetables as delicious snack choices. Read more.
  • Make healthier choices away from home. Ask for dressing on the side, and bring home some of the oversized portions. Make healthier fast-food choices and bring lunch to work. Read more.
  • Eat to lower your blood pressure. A low-salt diet can help to control high blood pressure.  Get the salt shaker off the table, and use herbs and spices instead. Limit high-sodium processed foods. Read more.

Your coaching assignment for this week:

  • Review her Activity Log with her. Recognize improvements, and discuss barriers and possible solutions. Encourage her to continue to increase her activity.
  • Review the dietary recommendations above, and ask the person you are coaching which one heart healthy nutrition goal she wants to select to work on this week.
  • Review the instructions on how to use the Heart Healthy Food Diary with her so she can track her progress.
  • Ask her which one she wants to try.  As the coach, you should get to know her goal by clicking on the "read more" link.
  • Review her goals for this week:
    • Continue to increase her exercise levels and keep track on her Activity Log form.
    • Do the web reading for the one diet related goal she selected.
    • Keep track of any progress she's making with diet on her Heart Healthy Food Diary form.

Coach's tip

If she has failed before trying to change a  habit, she may believe that she is not capable of succeeding.  As a coach, you can encourage her to try again. To be successful, people often have to try to change their behavior multiple times.

Weekly review question

Q: True or false: All you need to do to follow a heart-healthy diet is just avoid fried and fatty foods.

A:  False. (If you said true, review the guidelines above.)

Delaware Health Sciences Alliance CarePages Magnet recognition for excellence in nursing

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Christiana Care Health System PO Box 1668, Wilmington, DE 19899 800-693-CARE