Here are the heart-healthy diet recommendations not only from the American Heart Association but also from the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for prevention of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Consume a wealth of fruits and vegetables (5 or more servings a day) and whole grains in place of at least half of the refined (white flour, white rice) grains.
Limit processed foods which tend to be high in sodium or salt (snack foods, soups, frozen dinners, sauces)
Avoid trans fats, also known as hydrogenated fats (check margarine, cookie and cracker labels)and limit animal fats (butter, creams, fatty meats, etc.) while favoring plant-based fats such as olive and other vegetable oils ( canola oil is the lowest in saturated fats) and nuts, avocados, in moderation
Consume fish at least twice a week and consider some meatless meals, substituting legumes (lentils, beans, split peas), seeds, or nuts.
Choose lowfat dairy products
Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and desserts
Making one change and building on it may maintain or improve heart health. This may result in improved weight, and reduced risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, and cancer, as well.