Healthy Heart Diet

If you want to have a healthy heart, you have to learn how to eat a healthy heart diet. All of the food you eat affects the health of your heart. Learn which foods are heart smart and try to include them as a regular part of your diet.

Consult your doctor for an eating plan that best suits your dietary needs. If you are of average health, you can probably follow the Food Pyramid eating plan.

No matter which eating plan you follow, the following guidelines are recommended:
  • Total fat intake should be less than 30 percent of total calories daily

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake should be no more that 10 percent of total calories daily.

  • Monounsaturated fatty acids make up the rest of total fat intake, about 10 to 15 percent of total calories daily.

  • Cholesterol intake should be no more than 300 milligrams per day.

  • Sodium intake should be no more than 3000 milligrams per day.

  • Beware of chemicals in your food like caffeine, MSG, and other food additives.

Don't forget that you can enjoy the taste of eating right. Healthy heart foods can be delicious! For more information, consult our Heart Smart Hints.

Everyday Heart Health Tips

If you're not convinced about the need to develop an exercise program for your life, you can at least try following some of these tips in your everyday routine. Take advantage of any opportunity for exercise. Try some today.
  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator or escalator at school or the mall. Just start with one flight. Soon, you'll be ready for two.

  • Park your car at the far end of the parking lot. The short walk to and from the store or school helps your heart.

  • If you ride a bus or subway, get off a stop before your destination. Walk the rest of the way.

  • If you can, spend a few minutes of your lunch break taking a stroll around the campus grounds. It should help you stay awake after lunch.

  • Think of housework as an extra chance to exercise. Vacuuming briskly can be a real workout.

  • Mowing the lawn, pulling weeds, and raking leaves are chores that can be done yourself as a chance to exercise.

  • If you have a dog, think of the dog as an exercise machine with fur. A brisk walk with the dog is good for both of your hearts. Make it a part of your daily routine.

  • If you have a family, schedule an after-dinner walk. Make it quality time.