The American Heart Association is the nation’s oldest and largest volunteer organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. They now have over 144 local offices and over 2700 employees. Needless to say, they are a powerhouse. Their site, Heart.org , is a great place to visit to learn about various heart conditions, heart nutrition, and how to take care of people with heart diseases. In addition, they have a ton of recipes that you might want to give a try out.
Heart.org is a great resource, but it can be hard to navigate because of its size. It is dedicated to nearly everything heart related. So it is easy to feel overloaded with information when you go on the site. It can also be difficult to find clear statements on their recommended nutrition. Because of this, I will summarize their stances on daily nutrition here. But I still encourage you to check out their site. You might find some useful information.
Optimal daily salt intake: 1500mg of sodium (about ¾ tsp of salt)
Acceptable salt intake: 2400 mg of sodium (1 tsp of salt)
Those with obesity, hypertension, or are at risk for heart disease should aim for the optimal daily salt intake.
Aim to limit added fats to your diet because they are more calorie-dense than sugar.
According to Heart.org , eating foods with fat is normal and part of a healthy diet. However, you must remember to “choose foods that provide good fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and balance the amount of calories you eat from all foods with the amount of calories you burn.”
Fruits and Vegetables
Aim for 4-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Try to mainly eat fresh. Canned or frozen options may have added salt and sugar, so read the labels carefully. Read the ingredients section to determine if sugar, corn syrup, or salt has been added. There is no evidence that organic fruits and vegetables are safer or better tasting than other vegetable. The choice is based on preference.
Meats and Fish
Aim to eat lean meat that totals no more than 6 ounces.
Lean meat includes poultry, fish, and lean meat that has been trimmed. Also try to eat 2 servings of fish a week.