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Heart Healthy Eating Plan

Download Heart Healthy Eating Plan pdf document (34k) handout.

Note about servings: The amount of food from each food group that is right for you depends on how many calories you need. This is based on your age and gender and how physically active you are.

  • Grains
    Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta (6 to 8 servings a day)
    • Plain corn or fat-free whole wheat tortillas
    • Sliced bread (such as wheat, rye, or white), sandwich buns, dinner rolls, pita bread, english muffins, and bagels
    • Unsalted low-fat crackers (such as graham crackers), unsalted pretzels, and plain popcorn
    • Cooked hot cereals (not instant) and whole-grain cold cereals
    • Pasta (such as whole-grain noodles, spaghetti, and macaroni) and rice
  • Vegetable
    (without added fat)
    (4 to 5 servings a day)
    • Fresh, frozen, or no-salt-added canned vegetables (such as green beans, carrots, cabbage, tomatoes, yuca, squash, broccoli, potatoes, and corn)
  • Fruit
    (4 to 5 servings a day)
    • Fresh, frozen, canned (packed in fruit juice), or dried fruits (such as oranges, papaya, grapefruit, bananas, apples, mangoes, pineapple, watermelon, peaches, fruit cocktail, and raisins)
    • Fresh, frozen, or canned fruit juices
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
    Milk, yogurt, and cheese (choose fat-free or low-fat more often) (2 to 3 servings a day)
    • Fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
    • Fat-free or low-fat yogurt
    • Cheeses lower in fat and sodium
  • Lean meats, poultry, and fish
    Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs (2 or fewer servings a day)
    • Chicken or turkey without the skin
    • Fish
    • Lean cuts of meat
      Beef: round, sirloin, chuck, loin, extra lean ground beef
      Pork: leg, shoulder, tenderloin, lean ham
    • Eggs (no more than four yolks a week)
  • Nuts, seeds, and legumes
    (4 to 5 servings a week)
    • Nuts and seeds
    • Dry beans and peas (black beans, pink beans, kidney beans, navy beans, chick peas, lentils, and split peas)
  • Fats and oils
    (2 to 3 servings a day)
    • Margarine (liquid, soft-tub, or reduced-calorie)
    • Oils (canola, corn, safflower, olive, peanut, or sesame)
  • Sweets and added sugars
    (5 or fewer servings a week)
    • Frozen treats (such as frozen juice pops, or low-fat frozen yogurt or ice cream)
    • Low-fat cake and cookies (such as angelfood cake, fig bar cookies, gingersnaps, animal crackers, vanilla wafers, and graham crackers)

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Information on this page is taken from the English print version of “Your Heart, Your Life, A Community Health Worker's Manual.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Publication No. 08-3674, Originally Printed 1999, Revised May 2008.

Last Updated March 2012

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