A heart healthy diet is always preferable, but it becomes much more important when you are diagnosed with a cardiovascular disorder.
More than 50% of cardiovascular disease occurrences arise from Atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is a generic term used to describe the thickening of the arteries caused by the formation and deposition of an atherosclerotic plaque. The plaque is a fatty fibrous growth that ultimately becomes calcified and contributes to the blocking of the arterial blood vessel. This results in poor or restrictive blood flow contributing to the rise in blood pressure or hypertension, myocardial infarction and stroke.
Summary of the Heart Healthy Diet Pattern based on 2000 Calories per Day
- Fruits and vegetables: 4.5 cups daily (one serving= 1 cup raw leafy vegetable, cup raw or Cooked vegetable, . Cup vegetable juice; 1 medium fruit, Cup fresh fruit).
- Fish: 2 servings per week if religion permits (1 serving= 4 oz cooked fish preferably fatty fish e.g. salmon, mackerel, catfish).
- Legumes or lentils: Vegetarians: 5-7 times per week e.g. lentils, daal, rajma, channa and for Nonvegetarians: at least 2 times per week (one serving= . cup cooked legumes or lentils)
- Whole grains: 3 servings per day choose from 1 slice whole grain bread, 1 oz dry whole grain cereal, . cup cooked whole grain brown rice, cup whole grain pasta, 1-6” chapati.
- Fiber: 30 g daily (choose legumes, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, oats, rye, bran cereal, berries, brown rice etc); 7 to 13 gm soluble fiber e.g. whole oats, rye, barley.
- Nonfat Dairy Products: 2 to 3 servings per day (choose from 1 cup non fat or 1% milk, non-fat yogurt, 1% buttermilk).
- Fats & oils: 4 to 6 tsp daily (choose monounsaturated or polyunsaturated oils e.g. Canola, corn, olive, soybean, safflower oil)
- Nuts and seeds: 2 to 4 times per week (1/3 cup or 1 . oz nuts, avoid macadamia nuts and Salted nuts, 2 tablespoon or . oz seeds).
- Sugar: limit to 5 servings week (1 serving= 1 tablespoon sugar, jelly or jam)
- Saturated fat 7%/total energy intake (fat on meat or chicken skin, packaged desserts, whole Milk, ice cream, butter, cheese, sour cream etc.
- Trans-fatty acids 0 grams (found in processed foods e.g. cookies, chips, Indian savory snacks and fried foods).
- Cholesterol: limit to 200 mg daily (found in animal meats, organ meats, eggs, etc).
- Sodium: 1500 mg per day (read food labels; prepare food with as little salt as possible).
Major source of information Nutrition Society India