The best foods for heart health are fresh vegetables, especially leafy greens. Fresh or dried fruits are also very heart healthy. Fat-free or low-fat dairy products are heart healthy, as are nuts, seeds and foods made with whole grains.
The most important tip for heart-healthy eating is to eat fewer saturated and trans fats. Eating heart healthy also means cutting down on sodium and getting more fiber from fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Buying fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season, canned, dried or frozen helps to save money. Canned fruits should be packed in 100 percent juice rather than in syrup, and all canned vegetables bought should be low in sodium.
Along with consuming low-fat or nonfat dairy products, choosing soy milk can help one's heart health while still maintaining adequate levels of calcium. Whole wheat products chosen for a heart-healthy diet should list whole wheat or another whole grain first on the ingredient list. Choosing lean cuts of meat also helps increase heart health. Beans are another heart-healthy food and can be combined with other vegetarian proteins. Avoiding the saturated and trans fats present in butter, meat and some other cooking oils is crucial to a heart-healthy diet. These fats can be replaced with heart-healthy oils such as olive oil.