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Improve Heart Health with a Diet Plan from a Long Island RDN: Ingredients of a Heart Healthy Diet

Healthy food in heart diet

Hearts are an amazing muscle – beating about 100,000 times every day to keep us alive.  What you eat – or don’t eat, increases or decreases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart failure, as well as type 2 diabetes, hypertension, kidney disease, cognitive decline, and much much more.

When you consider what “diet” is, think in terms of dietary patterns, not single foods, or nutrients. The best examples are the Mediterranean or DASH diet.

As a dietitian nutritionist working with patients for over 30 years in Long Island and New York, I always recommend you focus on what you “can eat” rather than what you can’t eat.

Think about adding in:  

• Vegetables

• Fruits

• Nuts

• Whole grains

• Lean protein and Fish

and cutting back on:

• Trans and Saturated Fat

Processed Meat and Red Meat

• Refined carbohydrates

There are other important principles to implementing a heart-healthy program:

• Moderation

• Timely meals within your biological clock (see previous blogs)

• Physical Activity – an active lifestyle

• Attaining and maintaining an optimal weight (lose that weight and keep it off!)

• Limit sodium

Though many of my patients prepare meals at home, the majority go to restaurants or have food delivered.  These recommendations can and need to be applied everywhere.

Great resources for heart-healthy eating: