Heart Healthy Nutrition

By Natalie Counts

Nutrition plays a big part in cardiovascular health, and being intentional about what you eat will keep your heart healthy for years to come. According to medical experts, a heart-healthy diet should include at least two 3.5-ounce servings of fish, preferably oily fish, per week. At least four to five cups of fruits and vegetables should be enjoyed each day. Nuts, legumes and seeds are great for heart health and four servings are recommended per week. Whole grains are also important for your diet. At least three ounces should be included each day with meals. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol, and choose low-fat protein sources. Processed meats should not exceed more than two serving per week. Saturated fat should be less than seven percent of your total intake. It’s best to reduce the salt in your diet to less than 1,500 mg a day and to control your meal portion size. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages to no more than 450 calories a week, which is about 36 ounces. Plan ahead and create daily menus if possible. Allow yourself the occasional treat, but remember that eating well should be your number one priority in maintaining a healthy lifestyle for your heart’s sake.