No Heart Left Behind
Eat for Heart Health
Your food choices can impact your risk for heart disease. This week, you and your coach will talk about the components of a heart-healthy diet. She will encourage you to select one nutrition goal to work on during the next week.
Healthy food choices can be a key weapon in the fight to prevent heart disease. Many people know to avoid fatty foods, but a heart-healthy diet involves more than avoiding fried foods.
For a heart healthy diet, nutrition experts recommend that we:
- Reduce the amount of fried and fatty foods we eat.
- Consume more whole grains.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Be careful when we eat out.
- Control high blood pressure by reducing sodium intake.
Review the following guidelines and then select one goal to read more about and work on this 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.
If you have other health conditions, such as diabetes, you may need additional dietary advice. Contact a registered dietitian, or ask your doctor for a referral.
Your activities for this week:
- Continue to strive for 30 minutes of physical activity as many days as possible, and keep track on your activity log.
- Choose just one of the goals above to work on this week, and follow the link to learn more about it.
- Keep track of your progress on this Heart-Healthy Food Diary. There's no need to write down everything you eat; simply include the better choices you made related to your goal. For example: "I used whole-wheat bread for my sandwich."
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.)