Fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which makes it good for the heart by helping prevent blood clots, heart attacks and other risks associated with coronary heart disease, or CHD, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Fiber is excellent for heart health, and a heart-healthy diet emphasizes plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Fiber reduces LDL cholesterol levels, and high-fiber foods offer many other essential nutrients that help protect against CHD.
Individuals following a heart-healthy diet plan should select fresh or frozen vegetables and fruits over those canned in heavy syrups or with added sodium, as Mayo Clinic explains. Whole grains are a preferable substitution for refined grain products, and healthy choices include brown rice, barley, high-fiber cereal, oats and whole-grain pasta. Dieters should limit or avoid white flour-based products such as white bread, cakes, pies, muffins and frozen waffles.
Saturated fats and trans fats have a negative impact on cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of CHD, as indicated by Mayo Clinic. High cholesterol leads to atherosclerosis, which is a build up of plaque in the arteries that causes heart attacks and strokes. Saturated fat, which is primarily found in animal products such as butter, bacon, gravy and cream sauces, should not exceed 7 percent of a person's daily calories. Trans fats should not exceed 1 percent of an individual's caloric intake. Healthy sources of fat include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds, avocados and margarine without trans fat.