The Best Diets for Your Heart

The DASH Diet

The doctor-designed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH, Diet focuses on eating more fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and less fat and sugar. Its focus is on lowering high blood pressure, another heart disease risk factor, so you’ll limit your salt intake to either 1,500 or 2,300 milligrams a day, depending on your needs. Calorie limits depend on your weight goals and your activity level. You’ll have 6 to 8 servings of whole grains, 4 to 5 servings of vegetables, 4 to 5 servings of fruit, 2 to 3 servings of no- or low-fat dairy, 3 to 6 servings of lean meat, fish, or poultry, and 2 to 3 servings of heart-healthy fats or oils each day, plus 4 to 5 servings a week of nuts, seeds, or beans.

A sample day’s meal plan: Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad or banana, fat-free vanilla yogurt, bran muffin, no-fat milk, decaf tea Lunch: Curried chicken wrap, raw carrots and celery, no-fat milk Dinner: Baked cod, brown rice pilaf, green beans, whole-grain roll, trans-fat-free margarine, fresh berries with mint Snack: Yogurt or peach

Researchers looking at more than 36,000 healthy women ages 48 to 83 in Sweden found that those whose diets most closely resembled DASH were at lower risk for heart failure. Johnson says the DASH Diet is a great heart diet because you eat little, if any, red and processed meats and lots of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables while watching salt.

Source by everydayhealth…