How To Eat A Heart Healthy Diet

A heart-healthy diet is a natural way to help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall health.

When it comes to eating healthy, every bite counts. What if those bites were of natural, unprocessed food? If that sounds good, the heart-healthy diet might be for you.

Heart-Healthy Basics

The basic idea is to reduce or eliminate foods high in saturated fat, salt, and processed sugar. A whole foods diet is naturally tasty and easy on your ticker, even potentially helping lower high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

What to Eat

Try adding more fresh fruits and vegetables to your meals. What could be less processed than that? If possible, skip the “white” carbs (think bleached flour and white rice), and opt for whole grains as they tend to be higher in fiber and nutrients.

Explore recipes that showcase whole foods, simple preparations, and wonderful fresh flavors.

Omega-3: The Good Fat

Yes, there are good fats and bad fats. Omega-3 fatty acids are good — and you can find them in foods like fish and nuts. They have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and are friendly on those cholesterol levels. Plus, they’re really simple to swap out for snacks and meals. There are several quick and easy ways to add them into your diet:

  • Snack on pecans instead of chips
  • Trade the steak for a salmon filet
  • Sprinkle ground flax seeds into your cereal
Chef John's Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon

Chef John’s Baked Lemon Pepper Salmon | Photo by Allrecipes

Getting Ahead Equals Getting Healthy

Processed foods might be convenient, but cutting back on them can be healthier for your heart — and for the rest of you, too. Here are some tips:

  • Plan ahead: Setting aside time to plan your meals makes it easier to avoid the drive-through. Like to snack? Try packing some nuts or fresh fruit to curb those cravings.
  • Try a two-week challenge: Go without sugar and refined “white” carbs for two weeks. Many people report that they have fewer cravings as time goes on.
  • Reduce salt intake: Eating a lot of salty foods (not just chips, but canned soup and some frozen meals) can increase your craving for more salty foods. Canned soups, frozen meals, and fast foods can be surprisingly high in sodium. Remember serving sizes when reading labels, and see if you can opt for a low-sodium version.

Check out more Simple Tips for Eating Healthy With Easy Recipes.

Mesclun and Mango Salad with Ginger Carrot Dressing

Mesclun and Mango Salad with Ginger Carrot Dressing | Photo by Allrecipes

Don’t Say “Diet”

Eating heart-healthy options doesn’t have to feel like deprivation. Think of it as adding food to your diet, rather than taking away. With dishes like grilled salmon recipes, homemade hummus, fresh and dense salads, and savory soups and stews, you can serve amazing meals everyone in your family will love. And that makes for a happy and healthy heart.

Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers

Actually Delicious Turkey Burgers | Photo by Dianne

Find More Recipes for Healthy Eating

Need Dessert?

Follow Me to More Articles & Tips