The Truth About The Cardiac Diet

The cardiac diet, as it suggests, is intended to benefit your heart's health. Similarly, you may have heard of the DASH diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension), or the Mediterranean diet, as research shows these are associated with optimal heart health. Furthermore, as per U.S News, these cardiac diets are the healthiest for you overall. According to Medical News Today, the cardiac diet consists of eating nutrient-dense foods, like vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats, and limiting processed, sugary, and salty foods. It is also suggested to limit alcohol. 

According to Memorial-Sloan Kettering, some basic recommendations for the cardiac diet include: minimal, if any, saturated fats; zero trans fats; limiting salt consumption to less than two grams daily; and no more than 35 percent of your total caloric intake from fats. When choosing fats, choose those rich in Omega-3, such as oily fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes, while avoiding fried foods, hydrogenated oils, and high-fat baked goods. 

Eat more plant based foods for better heart health

The American Heart Association reports that the vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants in fruits and vegetables are healthy for the heart, so eating the rainbow, 4-5 servings per day, is a key factor in the cardiac diet. Research published in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that more plant-based diets with fewer refined carbs and animal foods correlate with a lower risk of heart disease mortality.

Other cardiac diet guidelines include swapping full-fat dairy products for low-fat or fat-free options, and avoiding red and processed meats by replacing them with lean proteins and plant-based foods. Limiting sauces and dressings, breakfast cereals, and starchy vegetables is also heart-helpful. 

According to WebMd, to help you adjust to the cardiac diet, learn to read labels to ensure your sodium intake is less than 1,500 milligrams a day; make your own seasonings; and buy more whole, fresh foods. Add in physical activity and a mindfulness practice to reduce stress and you are well on your way to reducing your risk of heart disease and living a healthier life (per American Heart Association).