Reduce your heart disease risk with healthy eating

Eating a variety of foods is beneficial to your health and can help reduce your risk of a wide range of disease, including heart disease. One basic goal is to eat a balanced variety of foods from each of the five primary good groups: vegetables, fruit, grain, meat and dairy. Not only does this help you maintain a healthy and interesting diet, but it provides essential nutrients to the body.

A nutritious and healthy diet should include:

  • Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
  • A variety of healthy protein sources (especially fish and seafood), legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure it is lean and limit to one to 3 times a week.
  • Unflavored milk, yogurt and cheese. Persons with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
  • Healthy fat choices – nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking.
  • Herbs and spices to flavor foods, instead of adding salt.

Ideally, a healthy plate would include servings of – ¼ protein, ¼ carbohydrates and ½ fruits and vegetables.

Also, portion control is important. Be mindful on how much you are eating and whether you are filling up on unhealthy foods. Portion sizes have increased over time and many of us are eating more than we need. Too many calories can lead to being overweight or obese, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.

For more information about how Gonzales Healthcare Systems can help with your nutritional health, contact our Dietary Department at 830-672-7581 ext. 2801, email our Registered Dietitian Cynthia Green at, or click the link: