At the heart of a healthy lifestyle is good nutrition. Making smart food choices can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. The good news is, eating right doesn’t have to be hard or require a special diet.
Here are some simple tips to help you and your family follow an overall healthy dietary pattern.
- Fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains
- Beans and legumes
- Nuts and seeds
- Fish (preferably oily fish high in omega-3 fatty acids), skinless poultry, and plant-based alternatives
- Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
- Healthier fats and non-tropical oils
- Sodium and salt
- Saturated fat
- Sweets and added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages
- Red meats – if you choose to eat red meat, select lean cuts
- Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils
- Choose wisely, even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary by brand and preparation.
- Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.
- Watch your calorie intake. To maintain weight, consume only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, consume fewer calories or burn more calories.
- Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served.
- Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.
- Prepare and eat healthier meals at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients.
- Look for the Heart-Check mark to easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy diet.
AHA can help you choose healthier options:
- Suggested Serving Sizes from Each Food Group
- Heart-Healthy Recipes
- Read the full American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
- The American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults
- The American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Kids