Heart-Healthy Diet Guidelines

By EatingWell Editors

Learn how to improve your heart health by watching your weight, eating more vegetables and fruits, filling up on fiber and more.

Hold the (unhealthy) fats

Keeping a cap on saturated fats, trans fats and dietary cholesterol helps reduce risk of heart disease primarily by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. Limit intake of saturated fats (in butter, full-fat dairy products and fatty meats) to less than 7 percent of daily calories—that’s 16 grams, if you’re consuming 2,000 calories. Avoid the artificial trans fats that are ubiquitous in fast foods and processed snacks, such as crackers and cookies. (Trans-fat tip-off: “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredients list.) Try to consume no more than 300 mg of dietary cholesterol daily. Do all of this simply—no number crunching required—by replacing whole-fat dairy with skim or 1% dairy products and replacing fatty meats with lean meats, fish and plant-based proteins, such as beans.

Next: Eat Fish Twice a Week »

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner