Heart Healthy Eating

Don't just avoid certain foods to avoid heart disease, but also work to eat in a heart healthy way.


By Sarah Klena


“Real food doesn’t have ingredients, real food is ingredients” –Jamie Oliver

To fight the heart disease battle, part of your arsenal needs to be a healthy diet. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, chicken, fish and other forms of protein will give your body essential nutrients to maintain a healthy heart. Limiting trans-fats, sweetened beverages and other artificial additives will also help you eat for fuel and maintain a nutritional balance.

However, sometimes eating healthy can be overwhelming. The American Heart Association has a number of suggestions to help you begin or maintain your path to healthy eating.

Limit your salt intake

Americans eat an average of 3,400 mg of sodium each day, however the recommended limit is 2,400 mg with. Sodium can wreak havoc on your blood pressure, creating a higher risk for heart disease and heart related illnesses.

You can reduce your sodium intake by checking food labels, choosing sauces and condiments that are low in sodium and by pledging to reduce your sodium intake.

Smart Shopping

While grocery shopping, stay in the perimeter of the store as much as possible. The outside of the store has produce, dairy products and fresh meats and protein sources, which are the base of a healthy diet.

Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are another option as long as there isn’t a lot of added sugars or salt. Choose high-fiber whole grain bread choices and try to limit fats and oils.

An easy way to spot heart-healthy foods while shopping is to look for the American Heart Association certification label. This label ensures that you are purchasing food that meets the nutritional guidelines set by the AHA.

Healthy Eating Day

Start with one day! National Healthy Eating Day is November 4th, 2015. Make a pledge to eat healthy. It takes 21 days to create a new habit so take one step at a time, and stick with it.

Sarah Klena is a blogger, educator and runner living in Orlando, Florida. After surviving a massive widow maker heart attack at the age of 31, she has made heart disease awareness her mission. Through her blog, Heart Attack at 31, work with the American Heart Association and speaking engagements, she tells her story and motivates others to take care of their hearts. Her story has been featured in Good Housekeeping magazine, The Dr Oz show and in numerous online publications.

Main Photo Credit: Yulia Davidovich/; Second Photo Credit: Myibean/; Third Photo Credit:

Nov 10, 2015

My passion is blueberries so eating healthy is easy for me.