MBBS, MD-General Medicine, DM - Cardiology
Be mindful about choosing heart healthy foods; for example:
- plant-based diets low in fat, salt and added sugars
- high fiber and whole grains
- lean protein
- foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids (flaxseed, salmon and other fish, certain oils and nuts)
2. Read food labels
The labels on the side of food and beverage packaging provide a lot of useful information about the nutritional content, including calories, sodium, cholesterol, fat, sugars and key vitamins per serving.
3. Mind your portions
Many of us overeat without really knowing it. Portions at restaurants even the size of bagels, baked goods and other prepared items have steadily gotten bigger over the years. Know how much is too much, and which foods are better to load up on. Some people find it helpful to visually divide their plate and pre-portioning healthy foods for the week.
4. Learn how to cook healthy
How you prep your food is important; try to avoid frying food and substitute unhealthy fats when possible. It's also best to make snacks and meals from scratch and limit processed foods, which often contain hidden sodium and added sugars.
When you do eat out try to reduce your calories, fat and salt by asking for:
- no added butter or salt
- half of the portion to be boxed up before they plate it for you
- the dressing on the side
5. Limit alcohol
Experts advise limiting it to one drink a day for women and two for men.
12 fl oz of
8-9 fl oz of
Malt liquor (shown in a 12-oz glass)
5 fl oz of
3-4 fl oz of
(such as sherry or port; 3.5 oz shown)
2-3 fl oz of
Cordial, liqueur, or aperitif (2.5 oz shown)
1.5 fl oz of brandy or cognac
(a single jigger or shot)
1.5 fl oz shot of 80-proof distilled spirits
6. Don't shop hungry
If you go to the grocery store hungry, you are more likely to make unhealthy impulse buys.
7. Keep a food diary
This is one of the best ways to look critically at your patterns of eating over time. Based on this information, you can make healthy changes. There are also nutritional and food tracking apps that can help.
8. Ask for help
Don't go it alone or attempt to cut out major foods groups or make too many changes at once; your efforts can backfire. Talk with your health care provider or nutritionist about how many calories you should be consuming each day and come up with an eating plan that is realistic and fits your life. Ask your partner or family to help you stick to a healthy diet.
A healthy diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and control your blood cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar.