4 Rules for Following a Heart-Healthy Diet

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Practicing healthy habits—including eating a nutritious diet—can reduce the risk of heart disease-related issues. In fact, research shows that at least 75% of heart disease can be prevented through lifestyle changes! And, did you know that eggs can be included as part of a heart-healthy diet for healthy adults, according to the American Heart Association?

Get four tips for developing and following a heart-healthy eating pattern.

Rule #1: Integrate lean protein into meals. This includes plant proteins like tofu, beans, legumes, and nuts, plus animal proteins like seafood, lean meat, skinless poultry low-fat or fat-free dairy products—and eggs, of course! According to the American Heart Association, healthy people can include an average of seven eggs per week as part of a heart-healthy diet. Eating enough protein will also keep you fuller longer, which helps to maintain a healthy, comfortable weight—another important part of heart-healthy living.

Rule #2: Use as little added salt as possible to flavor food. Try fresh or dried herbs and spices like black pepper, cumin, mint, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Other low-sodium flavor enhancers include garlic, ginger, onions, shallots, vinegars (like balsamic or rice wine), and no-salt-added broth. Make a flavorful Roasted Vegetable Grain Bowl, topped with soft-boiled eggs and drizzled in a homemade Greek yogurt-based dressing that’s made with garlic, chives, parsley and tarragon.

Rule #3: Eat enough fruit and vegetables. Whether fresh, frozen, or canned (no-salt-added, preferably), a variety of fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients that support our body and heart like potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Eggs are easy to pair with vegetables, so they can help you consume more! Freezer-friendly Veggie Loaded Egg Muffins are American Heart Association Heart-Check Certified and an easy grab-and-go breakfast.

Rule #4: Add in foods that are high in potassium, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C. While our bodies require a variety of vitamins and minerals to support healthy living, these four notable nutrients play an important role in heart health. Tip for packing them all into one easy meal: Make a salad using leafy greens, including kale and collard greens, to get a dose of potassium, magnesium and calcium—like this Kale Salad with Herb-Roasted Chicken. Include bell peppers, broccoli or strawberries to work in vitamin C!

For more information on heart-healthy eating and living, download the free Heart Health Handbook from the American Egg Board. It is packed with practical information to help you make positive choices for your personal health, and it was created to make heart-healthy eating more approachable and easier to put into practice!

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