A diet that is healthy for your heart is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Other healthy choices are to increase your intake of fiber and decrease how much sugar, sodium and salt you eat. By learning to read food labels, you can determine the amount of sodium, sugar or cholesterol in a product and make healthier food choices.
To protect your heart, you must reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Choose low-fat, low-cholesterol foods whenever possible.
*Children and pregnant women should avoid eating fish with the highest level of mercury contamination.
Research indicates that a diet high in sugar can increase your risk of heart disease. For a healthier heart, reduce the amount of sweets in your daily diet.
Sodium is in salt. It is used to flavor and preserve foods. In some people, sodium can contribute to high blood pressure. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. Aim to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
On food labels, the section labeled Nutrition Facts will tell you how much sodium is in a product. Also, check the list of ingredients. Look for the words "salt" or "sodium." If either word is listed at the beginning of the list or more than once, the food probably has a lot of sodium.
|On a food label:|
|Sodium free:||Less than 5 mg of sodium per serving|
|Very Low sodium:||35 mg or less of sodium per serving|
|Low sodium:||140mg or less of sodium per serving|
|Reduced sodium:||At least 25 percent less sodium per serving than the regular product|
|Light or lite:||At least 50 percent less sodium per serving than the regular product|
|No salt added:||No salt is added to a product that normally has salt added|
A diet high in fiber can help lower your cholesterol. Adults need about 25 grams of fiber each day. Check the chart below to see how much fiber you're getting in your diet.
|Food:||Serving size:||Fiber content:
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