Heart-healthy menus often consist of fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens and fresh vegetables. Salads, perhaps containing avocado or a medley of fruit, are therefore common items.
Other examples of items found on a heart-healthy menu are dishes made from whole grains such as brown rice, barley, oatmeal (steel cut or regular) and whole-grain pasta. High-fiber foods are important to maintain heart health and it is recommended by the Mayo Clinic that meals contain 5 grams of fiber per serving or more. Low-fat foods, such as low-fat dairy and lean meats, are a significant part of a healthy menu. Lean cuts of chicken and turkey, as well as grilled fish, are recommended options.
A diet that is good for the heart requires the inclusion of enough healthy fats that help lower cholesterol and strengthen the cardiovascular system. These fats are polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. They can be found in foods such as olive and canola oil, fish such as salmon, avocado, nuts and seeds. Omega 3 is also important for heart health. Flax seeds are a rich source of omega 3 and when they are ground up and added to food, serve as a source of fiber as well.