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Diet and Nutrition

Healthy eating habits can help you decrease your risk for heart disease. Making healthy food selections can reduce high blood pressure, excess body weight, and high blood cholesterol, which are all major risk factors for a heart attack. Experts say it can take six months to change one old habit for a healthier one, so make gradual changes.

Healthy eating tips:

  • Choose lean cuts of meat, trim visible fat, and include more fish and skinless poultry in your diet.
  • Grill or broil instead of frying.
  • Use nonstick pans or nonstick cooking spray.
  • When adding fat, use canola or olive oil instead of butter or lard.
  • Eat more whole grain products to add fiber to your diet.
  • Consume more fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat as few sweets as possible.
  • Eliminate the use of whole milk, dairy products and cream sauces or gravies; include more fat-free and low-fat milk products.

The National Cholesterol Education Program's (NCEP)
Daily Food Guide

Nutrient Recommendation For a 2,000 calorie diet
Saturated fat less than 7% of calories less than 16 grams
Polyunsaturated fat up to 10% of calories 22 grams or less
Monounsaturated fat up tto 20% of calories 44 grams or less
Total fat 25-35% of calories 55-78 grams
Carbohydrate 50-60% of calories 250-300 grams
Fiber 20-30 grams a day 20-30 grams
Protein about 15% of calories about 75 grams
Cholesterol less than 200 mg a day less than 200 mg

For more information about the NCEP and more cholesterol information, visit the National Insitutes of Health website.