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6 Food Swaps For a Healthier Heart

August 7, 2023

When it comes to heart health, small changes in your diet can make a big difference. Making mindful food swaps can help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve overall cardiovascular wellness. These six easy and tasty food swaps that you can incorporate into your daily routine for a happier and healthier heart. Let’s dive in and discover how these simple swaps can make a significant impact on your well-being.

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1. Choose lean meats over red meat.

salmon fillets with lemon wedges and asparagus


Swap out fatty cuts of red meat for leaner options like skinless chicken, turkey, or fish. These lean proteins are lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, making them heart-friendly choices. Try grilling, baking, or poaching these lean meats for delicious and nutritious meals.

2. Whole grains over refined grains.

brown rice tofu bowl


Opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and whole wheat pasta instead of refined grains. Whole grains are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which can support heart health and help regulate blood sugar levels. Incorporate these nutrient-packed grains into your favorite recipes for added heart benefits.

3. Ditch sugary drinks for fruit-infused water.

pomegranate juice drink on a table with mint


Replace sugary sodas and beverages with refreshing fruit-infused water. Infusing your water with slices of citrus fruits, berries, or cucumber adds natural flavor without the added sugars, which can increase your risk for heart disease. Plus, staying hydrated with fruit-infused water keeps you feeling energized throughout the day.

4. Eat whole fruit instead of drinking juice.

rice cake with peanut butter fruit and seeds on top


Enjoy the full benefits of fiber and nutrients by choosing whole fruits over fruit juices. Whole fruits like apples, oranges, and berries are lower in sugar and provide essential vitamins and antioxidants that promote heart health. Snack on whole fruits or add them to your breakfast like peanut butter toast, yogurt, or oatmeal.

5. Replace salt with herbs and spices.

cook cutting fresh herbs in an apron


Cut back on excess sodium by seasoning your dishes with herbs and spices instead of salt. Herbs like basil, rosemary, and thyme, along with spices like turmeric and cayenne pepper, add a burst of flavor without the need for added salt. This swap helps maintain healthy blood pressure and supports heart function.

6. Replace processed snacks with nuts and seeds.

woman holding a handful of nuts to snack on


Trade in processed snacks high in unhealthy fats for heart-healthy nuts and seeds. Almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are excellent sources of healthy fats and nutrients that support heart health. Keep a stash of these nourishing snacks on hand for a satisfying and heart-loving treat.

Read next: 9 Heart-Healthy Breakfast Foods to Stock Up On

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