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Healthy Heart Diet

If you want to have a healthy heart, you have to learn how to eat a healthy heart diet. All of the food you eat affects the health of your heart. Learn which foods are heart smart and try to include them as a regular part of your diet.

Consult your doctor for an eating plan that best suits your dietary needs. If you are of average health, you can probably follow the Food Pyramid eating plan.

No matter which eating plan you follow, the following guidelines are recommended:

  • Total fat intake should be less than 30 percent of total calories daily.
  • Saturated fatty acid intake should be less than 10 percent of total calories daily.
  • Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake should be no more that 10 percent of total calories daily.
  • Monounsaturated fatty acids make up the rest of total fat intake, about 10 to 15 percent of total calories daily.
  • Cholesterol intake should be no more than 300 milligrams per day.
  • Sodium intake should be no more than 3000 milligrams per day.
  • Beware of chemicals in your food like caffeine, MSG, and other food additives.

Don't forget that you can enjoy the taste of eating right. Healthy heart foods can be delicious! For more information, consult our Heart Smart Hints.

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You are viewing a page in The Franklin Institute's online exploration of the human heart. It is one of many Resources for Science Learning which inspire scientific curiosity.

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