It is recommended to eat a heart healthy diet, but what types of foods are included in this type of diet?  Knowing the right type of foods to eat will make eating healthy a lot easier.  Below is a breakdown of healthy foods & foods to limit: 


Fats to choose  Fats to limit 
  • Olive oil 
  • Canola oil 
  • Vegetable and nut oils 
  • Margarine, like Benecol, Promise Activ or Smart Balance 
  • Nuts, seeds 
  • Avocados 
  • Butter  
  • Lard 
  • Bacon fat 
  • Gravy 
  • Cream sauce 
  • Nondairy creamers 
  • Hydrogenated margarine and shortening 
  • Cocoa butter, found in chocolate 
  • Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm-kernel oils 



Proteins to choose  Proteins to limit or avoid 
  • Low-fat dairy products, such as skim or low-fat (1%) milk, yogurt and cheese 
  • Eggs 
  • Fish 
  • Skinless poultry 
  • Legumes 
  • Soybeans and soy products, such as soy burgers and tofu 
  • Lean ground meats 
  • Full-fat milk and other dairy products 
  • Liver 
  • Fatty and marbled meats 
  • Spareribs 
  • Hot dogs and sausages 
  • Bacon 
  • Fried or breaded meats 


Low-salt items to choose  High-salt items to limit or avoid 
  • Herbs and spices 
  • Salt-free seasoning blends 
  • Reduced-salt canned soups or prepared meals 
  • Reduced-salt versions of condiments, such as reduced-salt soy sauce and reduced-salt ketchup 
  • Table salt 
  • Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners 
  • Tomato juice 
  • Condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise and soy sauce 
  • Restaurant meals 



Grain products to choose  Grain products to limit or avoid 
  • Whole-wheat flour 
  • Whole-grain bread, 100% whole-wheat bread or 100% whole-grain bread 
  • High-fiber cereal with 5 g or more fiber in a serving 
  • Whole grains such as brown rice 
  • Whole-grain pasta 
  • Oatmeal (steel-cut or regular) 
  • White, refined flour 
  • White bread 
  • Muffins 
  • Frozen waffles 
  • Corn bread 
  • Doughnuts 
  • Biscuits 
  • Quick breads 
  • Cakes 
  • Pies 
  • Egg noodles 
  • Buttered popcorn 
  • High-fat snack crackers 

Portion sizes are still important even when eating the right foods.  Incorporate more fruits and vegetables into each meal, filling half your plate with these.  Then on the other half of your plate, split it in half adding protein to one half and your carbohydrates (grains) to the other side.   

Choosing the majority of your foods from the healthy options above, will help you in eating a heart healthy diet plan. 

Want help with meal planning and meal preparation for a heart healthy diet?  Call us today to learn how one of our caregivers can help make meal planning/preparation easier for you (480) 618-5995.

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