Healthy Diet Guidelines

Updated:Apr 21,2014

SCWH - Diet Guidelines

Healthy Diet Guidelines

At the heart of good nutrition are dietary guidelines.  All of our recipes are designed with these, and your health, in mind.  The American Heart Association’s Heart Healthy Diet Recommendations are based on a 2,000 calorie diet and include:

  • Balance the number of calories you eat and physical activity to maintain a healthy body weight (this means not eating more calories than you need).
  • Make your diet rich in fruits and vegetables. A typical adult should try for 9-10 servings (4.5 cups) of fruits and vegetables every day.
  • Choose whole grains and high-fiber foods (Three 1-oz. servings per day). A diet rich in fiber can help manage your weight because fiber keeps you feeling fuller longer, so you eat less.
  • Eat fish, especially oily fish like salmon or albacore tuna, twice a week to get omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Limit saturated and trans fat and cholesterol by choosing lean meats, selecting fat-free (skim), 1 percent and low-fat dairy products and avoiding hydrogenated fats (margarine, shortening, cooking oils and the foods made from them).
    • A person needing 2,000 calories each day should consume less than 16 g saturated fat, less than 2 g trans fat and between 50 and 70 grams of total fat and limit cholesterol to no more that 300 mg each day.
  • Limit the amount of added sugars you consume to no more than half of your daily discretionary calorie allowance. For most American women, this is no more than 100 calories per day and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or approximately 6 teaspoons/day for women and 9 teaspoons/day for men). 
    • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages to no more than 450 calories (36 oz.) per week.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt (sodium) to maintain a healthy blood pressure. Keep sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day or less.
    • Limit processed meat (such as sandwich meat, sausage and hot dogs) to fewer than two servings per week.
  • Try to eat four servings per week of nuts, seeds or legumes (beans).
  • If you choose to consume alcohol, do so in moderation. This means an average of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. 
  • If you eat out, pay attention to portion size and the number of calories in your meal.
You may want to print this and put it on your refrigerator as a reminder when creating shopping lists and planning meals. It’s easy once you get started.

Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit