The American Heart Association recommends a diet comprised of whole foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Poultry, fish, low-fat dairy products and nuts are good sources of protein. Red meat and sugar should be limited or eliminated.
It's important to get key nutrients, minerals and fiber from a variety of food sources, according to the AHA. Foods rich in nutrients tend to be lower in calories, making it easier to lose or control weight, blood pressure and cholesterol. Diets that emphasize whole foods can be adapted to suit individual preferences as well as to support nutritional treatments for chronic disease, such as diabetes.