A heart-healthy diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and high-protein, lean meats, according to the American Heart Association. Red meats and sugary foods and beverages should be avoided on heart-healthy diets.
A heart-healthy diet begins with the right nutrients, the American Heart Association states. Nutrient-rich foods such as fruits, veggies and whole grains provide the body with a variety of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Plus, they tend to be lower in calories then processed, sugary and fatty foods.
To follow a heart-healthy diet on a daily basis, a person should aim to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts, and fish or poultry. Individuals should avoid red meat and any type of sugary, processed foods. They should also stay away from foods that are nutrient poor. Drinks such as soda may be high in calories but low in nutrients, so soda is considered to be a nutrient-poor food. People following a heart-healthy diet should also limit their intake of trans fat, saturated fat and sodium, advises the American Heart Association.
A heart-healthy diet also includes physical activity, explains the American Heart Association. People should aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day to keep their cardiovascular systems healthy and strong.