With all the mixed messages about “good” and “bad” foods in the media, it’s not surprising that many people just give up trying to figure out what they should eat. If you’re confused, you’re not alone.
Forget the competing headlines — the best way to eat heart healthy is to follow national guidelines from organizations like the American Heart Association. These are established by experts who monitor research, and are not focused on the latest fads and trends. It’s actually much simpler than people realize.
Ready to step up to a diet rich in the healthy nutrients your heart craves? The experts recommend staring here:
- Eat a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fiber.
- Eat fish at least twice a week.
- Limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol you eat. Only 30% of your daily calories should come from fat, with very little of that from saturated fats.
- Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
- Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
One way to make sure that your diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, and fiber, and low in saturated fats, is to divide your plate at each meal: half vegetables, 1/4 high-quality protein (like legumes — terrific sources of protein and great for a healthy heart!), and 1/4 for fish or a very lean meat.
And remember, you should get your nutrients from foods themselves, the antioxidants and other heart-healthy goodies found in foods like blueberries, beans, and artichokes don’t pack the same punch when they’re not in food form.