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Preventive Cardiology Guide - Foods to Limit

What dietary changes can I make to decrease my risk of heart disease?
What foods should I limit in my diet to decrease my risk of heart disease?

What dietary changes can I make to decrease my risk of heart disease?

Sodium: less than 2400 mg.

  • Limit table salt ( 1 tsp. = 2300 mg. sodium).
  • Limit processed foods, fast foods.
  • Limit high sodium condiments.

Dietary Fiber: 20-35 gm.

  • Increase whole grains.
  • Increase dry beans and peas.
  • Increase fresh fruits and vegetables.

Cholesterol: less than 300 mg.

  • Avoid organ meats.
  • Limit egg yolks to 2-4/week.
  • Limit meats to 6 oz./day.

What foods should I limit in my diet to decrease my risk of heart disease?


These foods are high in satured fat. Eating too much saturated fat may increase your risk of heart disease.

Grains and Grain Products:

  • croissants, pastries, butter rolls, commercial baked goods (biscuits, muffins, donuts, cakes), egg breads, cheese breads, commercial mixes containing whole milk, butter, coconut oil or shortening


  • coconut, fruits served with cream or cream toppings


  • vegetables that are fried or served in cream, butter or cheese sauces


  • whole milk and 2% milk and their products including ice cream and cheese, butter, all creams (sour cream, half and half, whipping cream)


  • duck, goose, heavily marbled meats such as prime graded meats, regular luncheon meat (bologna, salami, spam, corned beef, kielbasa, Braunschweiger, liverwurst, bratworst), sausage, hot dogs, organ meats such as heart, kidney, sweetbread and liver


  • coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil or shortenings made from these oils, butter, lard, salt pork, meat fat, bacon, cocoa butter (chocolate), margarines with hydrogenated oil listed as first ingredient or saturated fat content greater than 2 grams per Tbsp.

Health Topics A to Z, Related Sites:
Preventive Cardiology
Preventive Cardiology Guide to Healthy Eating
Seasonings: Spicy Ideas for Sodium Controlled Diets
Preventive Nutrition
Healthy Grocery Shopping
M-Fit Cooking Classes
Balanced Diet Pointers
Healthy Cooking
Nutrient Content Claims and Definitions
Nutrition for Children
Gross Obesity

U-M Health System Related Sites:
Heart Care Program
MFit Community Nutrition Program

Other Related Web Sites:
American Medical Association - Nutritional Basics
Mayo Health - Diet and Nutrition
American Heart Association - Diet and Nutrition
American Heart Association: What's My Risk?
USDA Nutrient Values

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