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Heart-Healthy Diet
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Heart-Healthy Diet?

What is typically called a "heart-healthy diet" involves limiting sodium, certain types of fat, and cholesterol, while emphasizing more healthful foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats.

This type of diet is recommended for:

  • People with any form of cardiovascular disease (eg, coronary heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, previous heart attack, previous stroke)
  • People with risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes
  • Anyone who wants to lower their risk of developing cardiovascular disease

The DASH diet is an example of a diet that follows the guidelines for a heart-healthy diet. This diet has been studied and results suggest that it helps control...

Modifying your diet to make it more healthful should have few, if any, side effects. If you have a serious health condition, consult with your physician or another trusted health provider before you make any drastic changes.

For many years, the American Heart Association and other major institutions have recommended cutting down on saturated fat and increasing carbohydrates. However, growing evidence suggests that it is preferable to keep carbohydrate levels relatively low while replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated fats such as olive oil. For more information, see the low-carbohydrate diet article.