You don't have to invest a lot of time or money into figuring out a heart-healthy diet, or even follow a diet with a specific name. Just stick to a few basic guidelines:
- Read nutrition labels and be aware of serving sizes.
- Keep your salt intake at less than 2,000 milligrams per day.
- Avoid foods high in saturated fat, trans fats and cholesterol.
- Use mono- and polyunsaturated fats such as olive oil, but be careful about limiting all fat intake.
- Choose whole-grain foods such as whole-wheat pasta instead of white pasta.
- Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables without added salt, sugar or fat.
- Choose low-fat sources of protein, such as skim milk instead of whole milk, and trim visible fat and skin from meats.
- Eat foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, walnuts and flaxseed.