Heart-healthy eating anyone can do

By Mindy Probst

When it comes to taking care of your heart, what you eat can play a big part. Increasing your intake of fiber, fish and fruits/vegetables while watching which fats you eat can help you take good care of your heart. 

hearthealthfoods

Fiber​

Fiber plays an important role in maintaining the health of your heart. Fiber can help lower your cholesterol and assist with better control of blood sugar. Another benefit from adding fiber to your diet is that it helps you stay full for a longer time which helps promote weight loss. 

Fibe​r comes from:
  • whole grains
  • dried beans
  • fruits and vegetables.

Fat

Monitoring the sources of fat in your diet will help promote good heart health. Watch out for saturated and trans fat. They can clog your arteries and raise your cholesterol levels. 

Saturated fats are found in: 
  • bacon
  • red meat
  • sausage
  • whole milk
  • butter
Trans fats come in: 
  • some fried foods
  • stick margarine
  • shortening
  • packaged foods made with hydrogenated oils

To help your heart, try to stick with the following oils instead. They provide good sources of unsaturated fat: 
  • olive oil
  • canola oil
  • avocadoes
  • walnuts
  • almonds

Fish

Adding fish to your diet can aid in heart health by providing you with Omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 has been found to help lower triglyceride levels, reduce the risk of blood clots, lower blood pressure levels and reduce the overall risk for heart attacks. Salmon is an excellent source of these beneficial fats.

Other fish that would make a great part of a heart healthy diet include: 
  • mackerel
  • tuna
  • herring
  • lake trout. 

Aim for 2 servings of fish per week. 

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruit and Vegetables are a healthy part of your diet because they are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They are also high in potassium which can help you lower your blood pressure. Try to eat 5 servings a day!