Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death among seniors. One way to improve your heart health is to eat foods that are low in saturated fats, added sugar and salt.  It turns out Mom was right; we should eat our vegetables!

These foods are the foundation of a heart-healthy eating plan according to the National Institute on Aging:

  • Vegetablessuch as leafy greens (spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage), broccoli, and carrots
  • Fruitssuch as apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes, and prunes
  • Whole grainssuch as plain oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-grain bread or tortillas
  • Fat-free or low-fatdairyfoods such as milk, cheese, or yogurt
  • Protein-rich foods:
    • Fishhigh in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, tuna, and trout)
    • Lean meats such as 95% lean ground beef or pork tenderloin or skinless chicken or turkey
    • Eggs
    • Nuts, seeds, andsoy products (tofu)
    • Legumessuch as kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lima beans
  • Oils and foods high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats:
    • Canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame, sunflower, and soybean oils (not coconut or palm oil)
    • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pine nuts
    • Nut and seed butters
    • Salmon and trout
    • Seeds (sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or flax)
    • Avocados
    • Tofu

For heart healthy recipes visit the American Heart Association Recipes.

Next week, our series on heart health continues with exercises for the heart. We will have suggestions for all seniors, no matter your level of physical ability.  Until next week…