Heart diet: Recommended diet plans
A healthy diet can help to reduce your risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Eating healthily can stop you gaining weight, which means reducing the risk of diabetes and high blood pressure. It can also help lower your cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of some cancers. Even if you’ve already got a heart condition, having a healthy diet can benefit your heart.
High blood pressure can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. By lowering your blood pressure by 10/5mm Hg, you can reduce your risk of stroke by 38% and heart failure by 50%. You can achieve that kind of reduction with a change in lifestyle factors, like improving your diet, becoming more active or stopping smoking.
This eating plan will help you keep your daily salt intake between 1500 and 2300mg. It’s low in cholesterol-raising fats and rich in fruits, vegetables and fibre.
Potassium is a mineral found in the body’s blood and cells, and is needed for normal muscle and nerve function. Potassium levels are usually well balanced by our kidneys, but may rise or fall if factors throw this balance off.
This eating plan will help you change the potassium in your diet to meet the needs of your health condition.
Type 2 diabetes affects how your body uses and stores glucose, which comes from digestion of sugars and starches in food. Our bodies produce a hormone called insulin, used to remove glucose from our blood. In Type 2 diabetes, the body either isn’t making enough insulin, or isn’t properly responding to the insulin it is making.
This eating plan is low in refined grains and sugar, low in saturated trans fat and high in fibre. It focuses on eating regularly timed meals and selecting low glycemic index foods.
Heart failure is a condition that affects the pumping of the heart. Weakened or stiff heart muscle can’t properly fill the heart chambers with blood and squeeze it out again, which means restricted movement of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the tissues of the body.
By lowering consumption of salts and fats, you help your body to maintain a better fluid balance, manage the systems of heart failure and protect your heart’s pumping ability. This eating plan limits salt to 2000 milligrams per day, and is also low in saturated and trans fat. It focuses on vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean protein choices for overall heart health.
Cholesterol in your blood comes from what your liver produces and what you consume in your diet. High levels of cholesterol in your blood can enter the lining of your arteries and form deposits, which can grow over time and block the flow of blood in your arteries, putting you at risk for a heart attack or stroke.
Making changes to your eating to lower your intake of saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol, while increasing fibre, can lower your cholesterol by as much as 35%. This eating plan will limit your intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol while increasing fruit, vegetables and whole grains.