Healthy Heart Nutrition

Heart Healthy Diet –Heart Healthy Diet-PDF

Eating healthy is easier than you might think. Add these simple healthy eating habits to your daily life over the next few weeks and you’ll see just how easy it is. By making small changes like these over time, and taking them one at a time, not trying to rush into all of them at once, the changes are more likely to stick.

  1. Eat more fruits and vegetables. Aim for 4-5 servings each of fruits and vegetables every day, if you consume a 2,000 calorie diet. Vegetable or 100% fruit juice counts toward this goal.
  2. Eat more whole-grain foods. Like fruits and vegetables, whole-grain foods are low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fiber. Whole-grain foods include whole-wheat bread, rye bread, brown rice and whole-grain cereal.
  3. Use olive, canola, corn, or safflower oil as your main kitchen fat. Limit how much fat or oil you use in cooking, and use liquid vegetable oils such as olive, canola, corn and safflower oils in place of solid fats.
  4. Eat more chicken, fish and beans than other meats. In general, skinless poultry, fish and vegetable protein (such as beans) are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than other meats (beef, pork and lamb).
  5. Read food labels to help you choose healthy foods. Food labels provide information to help you make better food choices. Learn what information to look for (for example, sodium content) and how to find it quickly and easily.


The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily. Remember, even simple, small changes can make a big difference in living a better life. This table shows the suggested number of servings from each food group based on a daily intake of 1,600 or 2,000 calories. There is a right number of calories for you, depending on your age, physical activity level and whether you are trying to lose, gain or maintain your weight. If you need fewer calories than shown below, decrease the number of servings and increase the servings if you need more calories.

Food Type 1,600 Calories 2,000 Calories Examples of One Serving
GrainsAt least half of your servings should be whole-grain. 6 servings per day 6-8 servings per day 1 slice bread1 oz dry cereal (check nutrition label for cup measurements of different products)1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal (about the size of a baseball)
VegetablesEat a variety of colors and types 3-4 servings per day 4-5 servings per day 1 cup raw leafy vegetables (about the size of a small fist)1/2 cup cut-up raw or cooked vegetables1/2 cup vegetable juice
FruitsEat a variety of colors and types 4 servings per day 4-5 servings per day 1 medium fruit (about the size of a baseball)1/4 cup dried fruit1/2 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit1/2 cup fruit juice
Fat-free or low-fat dairy Products 2-3 servings per day 2-3 servings per day 1 cup fat-free or low-fat milk1 cup fat-free or low-fat yogurt1 and1/2 oz fat-free or low-fat cheese (about the size of 6 stacked dice)
Lean meats, poultry, and seafood 3-6 oz (cooked) per day Less than 6 oz per day 3 oz cooked meat (about the size of a computer mouse)3 oz grilled fish (about the size of a checkbook)
Fats and oils Use liquid vegetable oils and soft margarine most often 2 servings per day 2-3 servings per day 1 tsp soft margarine1 Tbsp mayonnaise1 tsp vegetable oil1 Tbsp regular or 2 Tbsp low-fat salad dressing (fat-free dressing does not count as a serving)
Nuts, seeds, and legumes 3-4 servings per week 4-5 servings per week 1/3 cup or 1 and 1/2 oz nuts2 Tbsp peanut butter2 Tbsp or 1/2 oz seeds1/2 cup dry beans or peas
Sweets and added sugars 0 servings per week 5 or fewer servings per week 1 Tbsp sugar1 Tbsp jelly or jam1/2 cup sorbet and ices1 cup lemonade