Eating a healthy diet can reduce your risk of heart disease. A diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains can help protect your heart. Beans, other low-fat sources of protein and certain types of fish also can reduce your risk of heart disease. Limiting certain fats you eat also is important. Of the types of fat - saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated and trans fat - saturated fat and trans fat are the ones to try to limit or avoid. Try to keep saturated fat to no more than 10 percent of your daily calories. And, try to keep trans fat out of your diet altogether.
Saturated fat: Red meat, dairy products, coconut and palm oils etc.
Trans fat: Deep-fried fast foods, bakery products, packaged snack foods, margarines, crackers etc.
Heart-healthy eating isn't all about cutting back, though. Healthy fats from plant-based sources, such as avocado, nuts, olives and olive oil, help your heart by lowering the bad type of cholesterol.
Most people need to add more fruits and vegetables to their diet - with a goal of five to ten servings a day. Eating that many fruits and vegetables can not only help prevent heart disease but also may help prevent cancer and improve diabetes. Eating several servings a week of certain fish, such as Salmon and Mackerel, may decrease your risk of heart attack.
Following a heart-healthy diet also means keeping an eye on how much alcohol you drink. If you choose to drink alcohol, it's better for your heart to do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. At that moderate level, alcohol can have a protective effect on your heart. More than that becomes a health hazard.