The Best Foods For A Healthy Heart

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November 15, 2019
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December 2, 2019

A Healthy Heart 

In your quest for health and wellness, consider these groups of foods that can help you stay heart-healthy strong:  


  • Vegetables: asparagus, edamame, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, and spinach.
  • Fruits: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cantaloupes, blackberries, oranges, and papaya.
  • Whole Grains: quinoa, rice, corn, oats, farro, and buckwheat.
  • Healthy fats: avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds
  • Fish: mackerel, herring, sardines, albacore tuna, salmon, and lake trout.
  • Poultry: chicken breast, and the white meat on turkeys, ducks, and geese.
  • Beans:  pinto beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, soybeans, black beans, and lentils.
  • Eggs: boiled, poached, scrambled, fried in olive oil, or mixed into a salad. 
  • Light portions of dairy products such as greek yogurt or a variety of cheeses. 
  • Light portions of lean red meat such as sirloin tip side steak, top round steak, the eye of round steak, and bottom round steak. 


Finding foods that are good for your heart is not too challenging, now that you know what types of foods to look for.  Eating heart-healthy foods for optimal health is achievable.   


Sugar and Starches:  The Downfall of a Healthy Heart

As there are many foods that strengthen your heart, research has contrastly shown that sugary and starchy foods are detrimental to health. Consider the following research findings as cited in the journal Better Nutrition, they found that “despite decades of a low-fat diet being promoted as the answer, recent evidence paints a different picture. In fact, the key drivers of heart disease are sugary and starchy foods, rather than fat. A major U.S. study found that people who get 25 percent of their calories from added sugar (sodas and other sweetened drinks are major sources) are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those consuming less than 10 percent of calories from added sugar.” Another related study found that “eating foods that trigger high blood sugar—including sweetened drinks and starchy foods—contributes to atherosclerosis and doubles the risk of heart-related death1.”


“In contrast, eating more seafood rich in omega-3 fats, non-starchy vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds has a protective effect on the heart. A moderate amount of full-fat dairy foods and unprocessed red meat are also good. In other words, aim to eat more vegetables (other than potatoes), more fish and seafood, more fresh fruit, and some nuts and seeds. Some dairy and meat are fine as well. Go easy on grains. Many of today’s dishes are overloaded with them—big bowls of pasta, large buns for burgers and sandwiches, and pizza with thick crusts are common examples1.” As you incorporate foods that are good for your heart, your body will positively respond and you will have more energy and ability to function day to day. Always remember: eat with your heart in mind!


Have You Considered A Mediterranean Diet? 

One specific diet that is associated with the decline of risk factors for cardiovascular disease is the Mediterranean diet2. This diet “is typically high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.” This type of diet is great because it encourages limiting red meats and dairy products to a healthy portion size. 


Maintaining A Healthy Heart: 3:

  • Control your portion size. Eat more nutrient-rich foods and less high-calorie foods.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits. It is suggested that you eat 7 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. “Eat the rainbow”.
  • Choose whole grains. Start by switching to whole grain bread, cereals, pasta, and rice.
  • Limit unhealthy fats. It is recommended that you avoid trans fats and eat no more than 11 to 13g of saturated fats daily (no more than 5 – 6% of total daily calories).
  • Choose low-fat protein sources. These low-fat sources come from low-fat dairy products, eggs, fish, skinless poultry, legumes, soy products, and lean ground meat.
  • Reduce sodium intake to no more than a teaspoon of salt daily.
  • Plan and create daily menus. Making a daily/weekly/monthly menu, you are setting yourself up for healthy eating success.   
  • Allow yourself an occasional treat. As long as you don’t use this as an excuse to give up on your heart-healthy diet, an occasional ice cream sundae or candy bar won’t derail your diet.  Celebrate your healthy eating milestones!


  1. Tweed, V. (2019). HOW TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY: The latest evidence on the best diet, exercise, and heart supplements–even if you take prescription drugs to reduce harmful blood clots, cholesterol, or blood pressure. Better Nutrition, (2). Retrieved from
  2. Mediterranean diet: A heart-healthy eating plan. (2019). National News Agency Lebanon (NNA). Retrieved from

Heart-healthy diet: 8 steps to prevent heart disease. (09 Jan. 2019) The Mayo Clinic, Retrieved from

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