University of Illinois Extension
 

Heart-healthy eating

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Heart-healthy eating is a way of eating that will help to keep your heart and cardiovascular system functioning well. Heart-healthy eating includes:

Eating less:

Total fat
Saturated fat
Cholesterol
Trans fat

Choosing more unsaturated fats like:

Monounsaturated fat
Polyunsaturated fat

A heart healthful eating plan for lowering blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and triglycerides is based on these American Heart Association dietary guidelines.

Total fat intake should be less than 35 percent of total calories.

  • Everyone should limit their saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of total calories; individuals with high cholesterol should limit their intake of saturated fat to less than seven percent total calories.
  • Polyunsaturated fat intake should be no more than 10 percent of total calories.
  • Monounsaturated fat makes up the rest of the total fat intake, about 10-15 percent of total calories.
  • Everyone should limit their cholesterol intake to less than 300 milligrams per day; individuals with high cholesterol should limit their cholesterol to less than 200 milligrams per day.
  • Sodium intake should be no more than 2300 milligrams (2.3 grams) per day.
  • Limit alcohol consumption (no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men).
  • Maintain a healthy body weight and a dietary pattern that emphasizes vegetables, fruits, and low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

The goals of the American Heart Association Eating Plan are available at
http://www.americanheart.org.

Back to: Eating for Cardiovascular Health

This document is a source of information only, and is not medical advice.