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Heart Healthy Nutrition: Foods That Contribute to Heart Disease
Published Feb. 13, 2023

If you’re trying to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle, there are steps you can take to improve your overall health. One of the best things you can do is eating a healthy diet.

The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of total daily calories. Here are simple ways to cut back on saturated and trans fats:

• Trim fat off meat or choose lean meats with less than 10% fat.

• Use less butter, margarine and shortening when cooking and serving.

• Use low-fat substitutions when possible.

• Top a baked potato with low-sodium salsa or low-fat yogurt rather than butter.

• Enjoy sliced whole fruit or low-sugar fruit spread on toast instead of margarine.

• Check the food labels of cookies, cakes, packaged foods, crackers, and chips.

Fats to limit include the following:

• Butter

• Lard

• Bacon fat

• Gravy

• Cream sauce

• Non-dairy creamers

• Hydrogenated margarine and shortening

• Cocoa butter (found in chocolate)

• Coconut, palm, cottonseed and palm kernel oils

Proteins that are high in fat to avoid or limit include the following:

• Full-fat milk and other dairy products

• Organ meats, such as liver

• Fatty and marbled meats

• Spareribs

• Hot dogs and sausages

• Bacon

• Fried or breaded meats

Foods high in sodium to avoid or limit include:

• Table salt

• Canned soups and prepared foods, such as frozen dinners

• Tomato juice

• Condiments such as ketchup, mayonnaise and soy sauce

• Restaurant meals

If you need help planning meals or creating a heart-healthy diet, talk with a registered dietician.