- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Eat at least 4-5 servings each day.
- Eat a variety of fiber-rich whole grains. Eat at least 6-8 servings a day.
- Include protein, such as fat-free and low-fat milk products, fish, legumes, beans, skinless poultry, and lean, white meats. Limit red meats and processed meat. For nuts, legumes, and seeds, eat at least 4-5 servings a week. For lean meats, poultry, and seafood, eat less than 6 ounces a day. When eating fish, choose oily fish, like salmon.
- Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and/or cholesterol, such as full-fat milk products, fatty meats, tropical oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, and egg yolks. Instead choose foods low in saturated fat, and cholesterol from the first 3 points above. Try to eliminate intake of trans fats, which are found in snack foods, fried foods, and pastries.
- Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks and candy that have a lot of sugars. For sweets and items with added sugar, stick to 5 or fewer servings per week.
- Eat less than 1,500 milligrams of salt per day. Read food labels to look for hidden salt, which may appear as sodium.
- Have no more than 1 alcoholic drink per day if you're a woman and no more than 2 if you're a man.
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
US Department of Agriculture http://www.usda.gov
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.com
Dietary interventions for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated May 21, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.
Frequently asked questions about sodium. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Frequently-Asked-Questions-FAQs-About-Sodium%5FUCM%5F306840%5FArticle.jsp. Updated November 11, 2014. Accessed July 28, 2015.
Greene CM, Fernandez ML.The role of nutrition in the prevention of coronary heart disease in women of the developed world. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(1):1-9.
Healthy diet goals: Nutrition basics. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Nutrition-Basics%5FUCM%5F461228%5FArticle.jsp. Accessed April 29, 2015.
Serving suggestions from each food group. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyEating/Suggested-Servings-from-Each-Food-Group%5FUCM%5F318186%5FArticle.jsp. Updated February 17, 2015. Accessed July 28, 2015.
6/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Sinha R, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, Leitzmann MF, Schatzkin A. Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:562-571.
- Reviewer: Michael Woods, MD
- Review Date: 07/2015 -
- Update Date: 10/17/2013 -