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Heart Health and Diet: 3 Big Takeaways for National Heart Month

With national heart month coming to a close, let’s discuss three big takeaways when it comes to achieving a heart healthy diet.

High Fiber Intake

Fiber is highly beneficial for so many things in the body. It aids in heart health, gut health, blood sugar management, and even hunger control! Fiber is high in many whole-grain products, as well as many fruits and vegetables. Some of the highest sources include beans, raspberries, whole wheat, soybeans, and split peas.


When it comes to heart health, fiber plays an important role in cholesterol management. Acting as a ‘sponge’ in your digestive system, fiber helps control total cholesterol levels. Daily recommendations for fiber intake are 32 grams for women and 38 grams for men. To achieve these numbers, aim to include fiber rich foods with each meal, or add in a fiber supplement.

High Omega-3 Intake

Omega-3 is an unsaturated fatty-acid that is high in sources like fatty fish, nuts and seeds, and even some vegetables! It is a natural anti-inflammatory, and has a positive impact on your cholesterol levels by increasing HDL cholesterol (often called your ‘good cholesterol’). 


Including high sources of omega-3, or even taking a supplement, can be beneficial for your heart and overall health.

Limited Saturated Fat and Sodium Intake

A diet that is high in saturated fat can increase your risk of heart disease by ‘clogging up’ the arteries with LDL cholesterol (often called your ‘bad cholesterol’). Saturated fat is present in many animal foods, like red meat and dairy products, as well as sweets, deserts, and highly processed foods. But fear not! You do not have to cut out or completely exclude any of these foods. Instead, aim to focus more on lean protein sources (such as poultry, plant-protein options, and low-fat dairy) as well as practice moderation with ‘extras’ like desserts.


A diet high in sodium can increase your risk of hypertension (high blood pressure) as well as negatively impact your body-water levels leading to dehydration or edema! Sodium is high in many food products, particularly canned and frozen items, as well as some ‘ready-made’ products. Aim to limit your sodium intake, as well as choose lower sodium alternatives when possible. In addition to limiting your sodium intake, another easy step to improve your heart health with diet is to increase you potassium intake! Some higher sources include avocado, beets, potatoes, parsnips, and spinach. 


While diet plays a very important role in heart health, activity is also a key player when it comes to maintaining cardiovascular function. Click here to read our article on developing healthy habits with exercise!

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