It is important to eat right, keep a healthy weight, and exercise, even if:
- You do not have heart disease or diabetes
- Your cholesterol levels are in the normal range
These healthy habits may help prevent future heart attacks and other health problems.
Eat foods that are low in fat. These include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Using low-fat toppings, sauces, and dressings will help.
Look at food labels. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat. Eating too much of this type of fat can lead to heart disease.
- Choose lean protein foods, such as soy, fish, skinless chicken, very lean meat, and fat-free or 1% dairy products.
- Look for the words "hydrogenated", "partially hydrogenated", and "trans fats" on food labels. DO NOT eat foods with these words in the ingredients lists.
- Limit how much fried food you eat.
- Limit how many prepared baked goods (donuts, cookies, and crackers) you eat. They may contain a lot of fats that are not healthy.
- Eat fewer egg yolks, hard cheeses, whole milk, cream, ice cream, and butter.
- Eat less fatty meat and smaller portions of meat, in general.
- Use healthy ways to cook fish, chicken, and lean meats, such as broiling, grilling, poaching, and baking.
Eat foods that are high in fiber. Good fibers to eat are oats, bran, split peas and lentils, beans (kidney, black, and navy beans), some cereals, and brown rice.
Learn how to shop for, and cook, foods that are healthy for your heart. Learn how to read food labels to choose healthy foods. Stay away from fast foods, where healthy choices can be hard to find.
Get plenty of exercise. And talk with your doctor about what kinds of exercises are best for you.