What Are the Main “Ingredients” for a Healthy Heart?

As seen in the February 2021 Issue of Advancing Care.
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Taking care of your heart doesn’t have to be hard work, says Allison Weissman, MPH, RD, the clinical dietitian for the Cardiovascular Health Promotion Disease Prevention Program at Westchester Medical Center, the flagship of WMCHealth. Making minor adjustments such as these to your eating habits can make a big difference:

Include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Look for different colors of the rainbow: choose a red apple, an orange pepper, green broccoli, a purple eggplant and more.

Incorporate plant-based protein options, such as beans, lentils, and nuts, and ancient grains like quinoa, oats or farro.

Try to eat fish twice a week, particularly varieties that contain heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, cod and lake trout.

Season your food with fresh or dried herbs, such as oregano and basil, rather than with salt or seasoning blends that contain salt as an ingredient.

Limit refined grains, like white rice, pasta and bread, as well as sugar-sweetened beverages, such as juice and soda.

Cut back on foods that are high in saturated fats (including butter, cheese and red meat) and replace them with foods rich in unsaturated “good” fats, like fish, avocado and olive oil.

Watch your portion sizes! A handful of unsalted nuts (about 1 oz.) is a great snack, but 1 cup of peanuts is 800 calories.


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