How Do Diets Become ‘Heart-Healthy’?

When it comes to heart health, what you eat matters. A heart-healthy diet can help lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and other cardiovascular problems. But what exactly makes a diet “heart-healthy”?

First and foremost, a heart-healthy diet is low in saturated and trans fats. These types of fats can raise your cholesterol levels and increase your risk of heart disease. Instead, focus on incorporating healthy fats into your diet, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon.

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A heart-healthy diet also emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. These foods are rich in nutrients and antioxidants that can help protect your heart and reduce inflammation. Eating various colorful fruits and vegetables can also provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals your body needs to function at its best.

Another critical component of a heart-healthy diet is limiting your intake of sodium. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure, which can strain your heart and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Be mindful of the amount of salt in packaged and processed foods, and consider using herbs and spices to add flavor to your meals instead.

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In addition to the foods you eat, a heart-healthy diet also involves paying attention to portion sizes and overall calorie intake. Overeating, even healthy foods, can lead to weight gain and increase your risk of heart disease. Aim for a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods in appropriate portions.

A heart-healthy diet emphasizes whole, nutrient-rich foods while limiting saturated and trans fats, sodium, and excessive calorie intake. By making these dietary changes, you can support your heart health and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.