Heart Health: Eat smart, add color, move more, be well

Eating healthy can be easy, tasty and inexpensive if you stick to some simple guidelines.

Eating healthy these days can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and lots of other things you’d rather avoid. The good news is, eating right doesn’t have to be hard or require you to give up things you love. It’s all about making smart choices to build an overall healthy dietary pattern.

Here are some simple ways you and your family can eat healthier:

INCLUDE

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans and legumes
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fish (preferably oily fish with lots of omega-3 fatty acids), skinless poultry, and plant-based alternatives
  • Low-fat and fat-free dairy products
  • Healthier fats and non-tropical oils

LIMIT

  • Sweets and added sugars, especially sugary drinks
  • Sodium and salt
  • Saturated fat
  • Fatty or processed meats – if you choose to eat meat, select leaner cuts

AVOID

  • Trans fat and partially hydrogenated oils

Choose mindfully, even with healthier foods. Ingredients and nutrient content can vary a lot.

Read labels. Compare nutrition information on package labels and select products with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat, and no partially hydrogenated oils.

Watch your calories. To maintain a healthy weight, eat only as many calories as you use up through physical activity. If you want to lose weight, take in fewer calories or burn more calories.

Eat reasonable portions. Often this is less than you are served, especially when eating out.

Don’t dismiss entire food groups. Eat a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients your body needs.

Cook and eat at home. You’ll have more control over ingredients and preparation methods.

Look for the Heart-Check mark to easily identify foods that can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern.

Read more at HealthyForGood.Heart.org