Salad. Greek Salad isolated on a White Background. Mediterranean Most people know that they are supposed to take care of themselves in order to have a healthy heart. However, they are not always clear about what that means or how to stay on the right track. This article will highlight a healthy diet that can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment with a Houston registered dietician please contact at OakBend Medical Center by calling 281-633-4022.

Heart-healthy eating
Heart-healthy eating is aimed to decrease the risk of heart disease. There are several eating plans that emphasize heart health. The following describes 4 of the most recommended heart healthy diet plans:
American Heart Association Diet – Nutrient-rich foods are emphasized including a variety of fruits and vegetables, skinless chicken and fish, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, nuts and non-tropical vegetable oils. Saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, sweets, soft drinks and red meat should all be eliminated or only eaten in moderation. Read Nutritional Facts labels carefully and try to always concentrate on eating real foods instead of processed foods.

DASH diet – The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet was created as a dietary plan to reduce high blood pressure without medication. Individuals with hypertension (high blood pressure) who followed this diet were able to lower their blood pressure within 2 weeks. The DASH diet is very similar to what the American Heart Association recommends.
1. Add more fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products.
2. Eat fish, poultry, whole grain foods, nuts and legumes.
3. Limit sodium, sweets, sugary drinks and juices and red meats.
4. Cut back on foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fat and trans-fat.

Mediterranean diet – Like both the American Heart Association Diet and the DASH diet, the Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits and vegetables, mostly whole grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, herbs and spices. Traditionally the Mediterranean diet also includes pasta, rice and bread. However, instead of butter or margarine, bread is dipped in olive oil which skips on the saturated and trans fats. Seafood and poultry should be substituted for red meat. Bacon, sausage and other high fat meats should be avoided. In contrast to the other diets, the Mediterranean diet allows for a moderate amount of wine. One 5-ounce glass per day is permitted for women and up to two per day for men under age 65.
MyPlate plan – The MyPlate plan focuses on adapting to a healthy eating style that can be maintained for life. It encourages individuals to start with small changes and make healthier choices they can enjoy.
1. Start with half of the plate full of fruits and non-starchy vegetables.
2. At least half of all grains consumed should be whole grains.
3. Vary protein but focus on poultry and fish.
4. Switch to low-fat and fat-free dairy products
5. Consume less sodium, sugars and saturated fat.
MyPlate also offers a free checklist calculator which takes a person’s age, sex, height, weight and physical activity into account and then creates an individualized food plan based on those factors. Please click here to see what and how much to eat according to MyPlate.

Houston registered dietitian for heart healthy diet
OakBend Medical Center offers outpatient nutritional counseling which includes nutrition assessment, diagnosis and individualized diet plans. Following the initial assessment, your Houston registered dietitian will monitor and evaluate your progress. If your targeted nutrition plan is not realizing the desired results your registered dietitian will make modifications to your plan. If you would like to realize the nutritional goal of a heart healthy diet please call 281-633-4022 to schedule an appointment today.