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Heart Friendly Diet

Knowing which food to eat more of and which ones to limit is the first step toward a heart healthy diet.

Control your portion size

What you eat is just as important as how much you eat of it.  Overloading your plate and eating until you are bursting at the seams can lead to a greater ingestion of calories than you would like, leading to unnecessary weight gain.  
Use a smaller plate or bowl to help you to control your portions.  You can eat larger portions of the nutrient dense foods such as vegetables.  Eating a lot of sodium can contribute to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is important to control your sodium as well as your sugar intake.

Eat more fruits and vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are great sources of vitamins and minerals.  They are rich in dietary fibre which is important for controlling cholesterol levels.
Including vegetables and fruits in your diet can be easy.  Always make sure you have these foods available for quick snacks.  Keep a bowl of fruit available for easy access.  Choose recipes that have a high proportion of fruits and vegetables. 
Avoid canned fruit that is packed with heavy syrup as well as frozen fruit with added sugar.

Select whole grains

Whole grains are naturally high in fibre and other important nutrients that play an important role in regulating blood pressure and heart health. It is easy to increase the amount of whole grains in a heart-healthy diet simply by making substitutions for refined grain products such as white bread, white rice and white pasta.
  • Some grains products to choose
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Whole grain bread
  • High fibre cereal
  • Whole grains such as cous cous, quinoa, barley, brown rice
  • Oats
Some grain products to limit or avoid

  • White, refined flour
  • White bread
  • Muffins
  • Donut
  • Pies
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • High processed crackers
Limit unhealthy fats

By limiting your intake of saturated fat and avoiding trans fats, you are on the road to reducing your blood cholesterol levels and lowering your risk of heart disease.


Protein should be eaten at every meal, along with a carbohydrate and a healthy fat. Lean meat, poultry and fish are the best sources of protein
Legumes such as beans, peas and lentils also are good sources of protein and make good substitutes for meat.

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