Most people are born with a healthy heart. But given that almost 2,000 Americans die of heart disease each day, which translates into one death every 44 seconds, it’s up to you to do everything you can to take care of it. Here are a few heart-friendly tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
- Eat a diet low in saturated fat, especially animal fats and palm and coconut oils.
- Add foods to your diet that are high in monounsaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil and seafood.
- Eat foods containing polyunsaturated fats found in plants and seafood. Safflower oil and corn oil are high in polyunsaturated fats.
- Choose a diet moderate in salt and sodium.
- Maintain or improve your weight.
- Eat plenty of grain products, fruits and vegetables.
You can do a lot to influence your risk of heart disease, and it’s never too late to start taking better care of yourself. Talk to your doctor about how a heart-healthy diet and regular exercise can reduce your chances of a heart-related condition.
|Instead of:||Try this:|
|whole or 2 percent milk and cream||Use 1 percent or skim milk.|
cooking with lard, butter, palm
and coconut oils, and shortenings
made with these oils
|Cook with these oils only: corn, safflower, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, olive, canola, peanut, sesame or shortenings made from these oils.|
|fried foods||Eat unsalted fresh or frozen meat, poultry and fish.|
smoked, cured, salted and canned meat,
poultry and fish
|Eat baked, steamed, boiled, broiled or microwaved foods.|
|fatty cuts of meat, such as prime rib||Eat lean cuts of meat or cut off the fatty parts of meat.|
|one whole egg in recipes||Use two egg whites.|
|sour cream and mayonnaise||Use plain low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, or low-fat or “light” sour cream and mayonnaise.|
|sauces, butter and salt||Season vegetables, including potatoes, with herbs and spices.|
|regular hard and processed cheeses||Eat low-fat, low-sodium cheeses.|
|crackers with salted tops||Eat unsalted or low-sodium whole-wheat crackers.|
regular canned soups, broths
and bouillons, and dry soup mixes
|Eat sodium-reduced canned broths, bouillons and soups, especially those with vegetables.|
white bread, white rice and cereals
made with white flour
|Eat whole-wheat bread, brown rice and whole-grain cereals.|
|salted potato chips and other snacks||Choose low-fat, unsalted tortilla and potato chips, and unsalted pretzels and popcorn.|