Eating for a healthy heart
Eating foods low in cholesterol and saturated fats can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease. Though your favorite foods often include ingredients to avoid, you can eat right and still enjoy your meals if you follow a few simple guidelines:
- Know your limitations. Limit your cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams per day and total fat to less than 30% of a day’s calories, including no more than 10% of calories from saturated fats. Check food labels for fat content.
- Recognize the bad stuff. Cholesterol is found in animal products such as meat, eggs and cheese. Saturated fats, those that remain solid at room temperature, are most commonly found in fatty cuts of meat, whole milk products, butter, and palm and coconut oils.
- Include the good stuff. Eat plenty fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as dried peas and beans. These foods are rich in vitamins and can also help keep your cholesterol levels down.
- Use a little less. It’s okay to use butter and dressing as long as you use them in smaller portions. Also, give low-fat or nonfat products a try.