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Heart-Healthy Diet

Here are our top tips for a heart-healthy diet:

  • Base your meals around these superstar food groups:
    • Vegetables (like kale, broccoli, turnip greens, carrots, sweet potatoes and squash)
    • Fruits (such as berries, citrus and melons)
    • Whole grains (including barley, oats, quinoa and rice)
    • Legumes (including beans, chickpeas, lentils, peas, soymilk and tofu)
  • Eat your veggies. Studies have shown that plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease. Aim for at least 2.5 cups of vegetables and fruit each day.
  • Eat cholesterol- and saturated fat-rich foods in moderation. These include animal products like red meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs and dairy products. These foods have health benefits, but are best enjoyed in moderation, with the majority of your meal consisting of vegetables, whole grains, legumes and/or fruit.
  • Enjoy blood pressure-lowering foods. Potassium can help lower blood pressure. Find it in:
    • Bananas
    • Bok choy
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Figs or raisins
    • Kale
    • Lentils
    • Mangoes
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Tomatoes and tomato sauce (choose a low-sodium variety)
    • Winter squash
  • Fill up on fiber. Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, legumes and whole grains. It can help lower your cholesterol and feel more satisfied after a meal.
  • Increase healthy gut bacteria. Healthy bacteria in your gut can help fight inflammation, boost your metabolism and enhance your immune function. These foods support good gut health:
    • Bananas
    • Beans
    • Blueberries
    • Broccoli and other cruciferous veggies
    • Jerusalem artichokes
    • Kimchee or sauerkraut
    • Polenta
    • Tempeh
  • Try healthy fats. Healthy fats can help you reach your health goals. Find them in:
    • Avocadoes
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Olives
    • Plant-based oils, like canola, extra virgin olive oil and flaxseed oil

For free, personalized nutrition advice, contact the Heart Resource Center at 864-560-4472. 

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