The new heart-healthy way to eat

When it comes to heart-healthy eating, the American Heart Association takes a balanced approach. According to dietary guidance released in November 2021, here’s what a healthy eating pattern looks like:

Have more

Fruits and vegetables

Eat different kinds for nutritional variety. Deeply colored whole foods, like leafy greens, are great as they are more nutrient dense.

Whole grain foods

Choose whole grain breads, cereals, and brown rice; they’re a great source of fiber.

Healthy proteins

These include fish, legumes (chickpeas, lentils, split peas), nuts, low-fat and fat-free dairy, poultry, and lean meat.

Liquid plant oils

Opt for oils like soybean, canola, and olive.

Have fewer

Beverages and foods with added sugars

Watch out for common sugars including glucose, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, and concentrated fruit juice.

Ultra-processed foods

They likely include salt, sweeteners, and fat, as well as artificial colors and flavors. They’re associated with weight gain and heart disease.

Processed meat

This includes bacon, deli meats, hot dogs, and pepperoni. Try poultry, fish, nuts, or legumes instead.

Foods high in salt

Watch out for foods that are processed or packaged, as well as those that come from restaurants.

Alcoholic beverages

If you drink, have no more than one drink per day for women, or two for men.

Tropical oils

Avoid coconut, palm, and palm kernel oils.

About the author
Terri Dougherty - Human Resources Editor

Terri Dougherty focuses on labor law posters, drug testing, marijuana legislation, and employee wellness.

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