A ‘heart healthy' diet:

What’s good for your heart is great for your taste buds.
As the recipes in this special collection will show, you don’t have to lose flavor to gain health. Cooking up heart health requires no secret ingredients. It simply means making dishes that are lower in saturated fat,
cholesterol, and total fat, and reduced in sodium. And, as an extra plus, these dishes have fewer calories than those higher in fat.

1. Fruits and Vegetables

It has been estimated that eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day could reduce the risk of death from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer by up to 20%. To receive maximum benefit from the wonderful nutrients contained in fruits and vegetables, choose from a variety of different produce each day, rather than sticking with the same options.

2. Starchy Carbohydrates

Eating whole grains is thought to reduce the risk of developing heart disease and can also help to lower blood cholesterol levels. Around one third of our meals should be based on carbohydrate, with roughly one half of these grains being whole. Opt for wholegrain bread, wholemeal pasta, and wholegrain rice wherever possible.

3. Oily fish

Regular intake of omega-3 fatty acids has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, and to improve our chances of survival following a heart attack. The omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish are thought to help the heart beat more regularly, reduce triglyceride levels, and prevent blood clots from forming in the coronary arteries. Aim to have two portions of fish per week (a portion is about 3.5 oz). One portion should be white fish, and one portion should be oily fish. Examples of oily fish include trout, salmon, herring, mackerel, or fresh tuna.

4. Fats

Our bodies do require some fat for normal functioning, however most people eat far more than what is required. Reducing the total amount of saturated fat we eat can help to reduce our blood cholesterol levels.

Try to include lean meat, fish and poultry, along with low or reduced fat dairy products, and moderate amounts of monounsaturated or polyunsaturated margarine spreads and oils in your diet.

5. Salt

If you have high blood pressure, it is very wise to reduce your salt intake. Recommendations suggest aiming for a salt intake of no more than 6g per day, (2400 mg). This is about one level teaspoon of salt and includes both the salt we add in cooking and at the table, and the also sodium already present in the foods we eat.

Foods to be included in the coronary artery disease diet

* Whole grain pasta and bread
* Brown rice
* Whole grain bagel
* Fruits and vegetables
* Fat-free milk
* Egg whites
* Fish
* Lean meats
* Soy products
* Popcorn (air-popped)
* Low-fat desserts (frozen)
* Olive oil
* Canola oil

Foods to be avoided in the coronary artery disease diet

* Potato chips
* Junk foods
* Whole milk
* Bacon
* Sausage
* Egg yolks
* Pastries
* Ice cream
* Margarine and butter
* Fried foods

Things to keep in mind in the diet for coronary artery disease

* Start your day with grains and fruits as breakfast.
* Grain products and vegetables should make the most of your lunch and dinner.
* Add beans to your diet as it reduces cholesterol levels.
* Have low-fat or fat-free milk.
* Cook food in very little oil preferably olive or canola oil.
* Have at least 2 servings of fish in a week.
* Add garlic while cooking food as it also decreases the cholesterol levels.
* Have monosaturated nuts like cashews, almonds, walnuts etc., in moderate amounts.
* Do not have trans fat found in packaged products.
* Avoid excessive cholesterol and saturated fat.
* The cholesterol intake should be limited to 200 mg a day.
* The salt intake should be limited to 2400 mg a day.
* 25-35% of calories should come from the fats.
* Quit smoking and limit your alcohol consumption.