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Heart-Healthy Diet: 4 Heart-Healthy Foods

Fruits, vegetables and whole grains are all part of a heart-healthy diet. Learn 4 heart-healthy foods that are good for your heart and what to avoid for heart health. Plus get heart-healthy recipes and ideas.

A heart-healthy diet includes whole grains, vegetables and fruits. But there are also some surprising foods that research shows are top choices for your heart, and a few foods you should limit or avoid. Raisins are heart-healthy, and not just because they are a fruit. They also have antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure and protect your heart. Eat them plain as a snack or in a homemade trail mix. Beans: they have soluble fiber which helps lower your "bad" cholesterol. Salmon is full of heart-healthy omega-3 fats. And, if you substitute fish for red meat, you'll also benefit from cutting out saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends getting at least two servings of fish per week. You may be surprised to hear that chocolate is good for your heart. It may help lower blood pressure. Make sure to choose dark chocolate, preferably 70 percent cocoa or higher, because it has more heart-healthy compounds than milk chocolate. And stick to a small portion: calories and saturated fat can add up quickly. Things you'll want to avoid for a healthy heart are trans fat—which hides in the ingredient list as partially hydrogenated oil— saturated fat, salt and added sugars. For more healthy-eating tips, come to eatingwell.com.
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