Food Choices

Heart disease is the number 1 killer among adults, in large part due to fact that most Canadians eat too many high-fat, high-calorie foods. The DASH diet is a low-sodium diet specifically designed to lower blood pressure without using medication. Click here (PDF) for a pamphlet introduction to the DASH diet.

You can also follow these steps to reduce risk for heart disease:

  • Eat at least 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of vegetables every day. Produce is full of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other essential nutrients, and is practically free of fat and cholesterol.
  • Cut back on high-fat foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fat, and saturated fat. Use liquid vegetable oils in place of margarine or shortening. Limit cheese, butter, ice cream, processed and fatty meats, cakes, cookies, pastries, muffins, pies, and doughnuts.
  • Eat more seafood, and eat fish at least two times per week. Recent research shows that eating fish like salmon, trout, and herring can be good for you. All of these contain omega-3 fatty acids, and may help lower your risk for death from coronary artery disease.
  • Read and compare food labels. To make the best use of food labels, first look at how many servings the package contains. Then look at the calories and fat per serving. Multiple the calories and fat by the number of servings you’re going to eat.
  • Cut back on foods that are high in cholesterol, like eggs, red meat, and liver.
  • Limit sugary beverages like pop and juice.
  • If you drink alcohol, limit your intake – alcohol is high in calories. Limit intake to 1 drink per day for women and 2 for men.
  • Prepare foods with little or no added salt.
  • Grill fish and chicken instead of frying.
  • Watch portion size.

Source: UW Medicine Valley Medical Center