Heart-Healthy Eating

December 5, 2013

Heart-Healthy Eating

A heart-healthy diet provides health benefits for the entire body. The Mediterranean diet,
which is rich in vegetables and healthy fats, has been studied extensively and offers many
delicious nutritious ideas.

But don’t forget that you still need protein in your diet!

Foods high in fiber help to reduce cholesterol. Examples include whole grains, such as bran
cereals or oatmeal. Nuts and legumes, like edamame, are also excellent choices.
Plant-based fats, such as those found in olive and coconut oils, are great additions to your diet.


Cold-water fish like tuna, mackerel, and salmon contain healthy fats, while nut and seed oils,
including corn oil, soy oil, sesame oil, cottonseed oil, and vegetable oils, are high in unhealthy
fats that cause inflammation in the body.

These fats are highly unstable and may be oxidized in the body, raising cholesterol levels and contributing to plaque in the arteries.



New research is finding, surprisingly, that saturated fats, which were previously considered to be the unhealthiest, are much more stable than these unsaturated fats.
Small amounts of red wine or pure grape juice are beneficial to the heart, as are shitake
mushrooms, which can help to lower cholesterol.

Include seaweeds in your diet, as they are rich in trace minerals and feed the circulatory system.


One of the best heart-healthy strategies is to eat a colorful variety of vitamin-rich fruits and
vegetables to take advantage of the multiple benefits of phytonutrients. Include several raw
portions daily.

Cooked tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which is cardio-protective. Be aware that tomatoes are some of the most chemically treated vegetables, so opt for organic and try to get the heirloom variety.



The allium family, which includes garlic and onions, also contains numerous heart healthy components.

Another heart-healthy strategy is to include a rich variety of herbs and spices in your diet.
These are rich sources of antioxidants.

herbs and spices


In addition, by flavoring your foods with herbs and spices, you can prepare varied delicious dishes that don’t rely on large amounts of salt for flavor. A heart-healthy diet is not high in sodium from salt.

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