Cardiac Diet Plan | Tips for A Healthy Heart

Cardiac Diet Plan

Want to have a healthy heart and body? If so, you need an effective diet containing healthy foods and a proper schedule. A healthy heart is a matter of great importance.

A 2020 survey in the USA revealed that over 55% of respondents expressed concern about the risk of developing heart disease.

The diet consists of food items that are heart-healthy and fresh. Furthermore, the cardiac diet plan also includes a daily exercise regimen for added advantage.

However, you should know that it may not suit everyone. Certain conditions may affect the choice of food you eat during the diet.

This article generally covers the cardiac diet plan. Check out the cardiac diet plan foods list article for the advanced list of foods for this diet.

What Is A Cardiac Diet?

The cardiac diet is a way of eating that can help you reduce the negative effects of your food on your heart health. The general goal of this diet plan is to cut down on sodium and fat consumption.

Excess salt in your diet can cause hypertension and increase blood pressure. Cardiac attacks and other heart disorders result from hypertension, which is a major risk factor.

On the other hand, fat can cause plaque to form on the insides of your arteries, which leads to heart disease.

That’s why a cardiac diet plan is crucial for a healthy heart. So let’s learn more about it.

Cardiac Diet Plan – Basic Guidelines

Here are some tips to help you stay away from fat and sodium:

  • Total fat intake should not exceed 25-35% of your daily caloric intake, with a focus on limiting saturated fats.
  • You should avoid trans fat.
  • Aim to limit your sodium intake to less than 2,000 milligrams per day.
  • Saturated fat shouldn’t be more than 7% of your daily calories.
  • Consume no more than 200mg of dietary cholesterol each day.
  • Consume alcohol in moderation: up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men is recommended.

Purpose of A Cardiac Diet Plan

Following previous cardiovascular difficulties, a cardiac diet improves cardiac health and prevents subsequent heart-related diseases.

Food To Eat On A Cardiac Diet Plan

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), the following foods are good for your heart:

1. Oily fish

Cardiac Diet Plan

Food To Eat on A Cardiac Diet Plan – Oily Fish

Omega-3 fatty acids, prevalent in oily fish, are beneficial for heart health due to their anti-inflammatory properties.

The American Heart Association recommends eating two servings per week, preferably fatty fish. A serving of flaked fish is 3.5 oz cooked or 34 cups flaked fish.

The following fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids:

  • herring
  • lake trout
  • salmon
  • mackerel
  • sardines
  • albacore tuna

2. Fruits and vegetables

Cardiac Diet Plan

Food To Eat on A Cardiac Diet Plan – Fruits and vegetables

The advice to ‘eat the rainbow’ encourages consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables in different colors daily. Plant foods include antioxidants that help to keep a healthy heart.

Fiber is also found in fruits and vegetables, important for heart health.

Therefore, you should attempt to consume more non-starchy vegetables and minimize the number of starchy vegetables you eat, such as squash and potatoes.

3. Seeds, nuts, and legumes

Cardiac Diet Plan

Food To Eat on A Cardiac Diet Plan – Seeds nuts and legumes

Incorporating 2–3 servings of seeds, nuts, and legumes into your daily diet benefits heart health. On the other hand, seeds and nuts are high in energy, notwithstanding their nutritional value.

As a result, you should consume these items as per your intended calorie consumption.

You can include these food items in your cardiac diet plan:

  • Nuts: almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, hazelnuts, and cashews.
  • Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, lentils, fava beans, and adzuki beans.
  • Seeds: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds.

4. Whole grains

Cardiac Diet Plan

Food To Eat on A Cardiac Diet Plan – Whole grains

Substituting processed grains with whole grains can aid in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Whole grains contain fiber higher than processed grains. Therefore, you can include pasta, whole grain bread, and rice in a healthy diet.

Food To Avoid On A Cardiac Diet Plan

Cardiac Diet Plan

Cardiac Diet Plan – Food To Avoid on A Cardiac Diet Plan

When following a cardiac diet, there are a few foods that you should avoid. These are the following:

1. Sugar-sweetened beverages and foods

Processed foods and beverages, especially sodas and energy drinks, often contain high levels of added sugars. You should avoid excess sugar consumption to maintain a healthy weight and avoid heart disease.

2. Red and processed meat

There is saturated fat in red meat. However, several studies show that substituting plant protein for red or processed meat reduces the risk of heart disease.

Legumes, nuts, whole grains, and soy products are all sources of plant proteins.

3. Refined carbohydrates

Refined carbs have low levels of fiber and can lead to imbalances in your blood sugar levels.

In addition, consuming a lot of refined carbs over time can contribute to weight gain and insulin resistance, which are risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Some refined carbs to limit are:

  • Pasta, white bread, and rice
  • pizza dough
  • sweet desserts
  • Biscuits, cakes, and pastries
  • white flour
  • Breakfast cereals

4. Processed foods

Long lists of ingredients are common in processed foods, which are detrimental to heart health. Many processed foods, for example, contain:

  • trans fats
  • high sugar
  • high salt
  • saturated fat
  • food colorings and additives

The best thing would be to prepare meals from scratch at Whole Foods if possible. This is a healthier alternative.

5. Alcohol

If you choose to consume alcohol, it should be done in moderation. This means that males should have strict to 2 drinks a day and ladies should have 1 drink a day.

Since red wine contains resveratrol, some people feel that drinking it in moderation can help protect the heart. According to Harvard University, however, the evidence for this is insufficient.

3 Essential Tips For A Healthy Cardiac Diet Plan

These cardiac diet suggestions will help you better manage these problems and lessen your risk of a heart attack, whether you’re aiming to improve your cardiovascular health, have heart disease, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

1. Focus on good fats:

Rather than eliminating fats entirely, replace unhealthy fats with healthy ones to support heart health.

Eating meals high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats can help you lower your blood cholesterol and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fatty fish like trout, salmon, and herring, as well as flaxseed, spinach, kale, and walnuts.

2. Replace fat with healthy alternatives:

It’s critical to substitute heart-risky foods, such as harmful fats, with healthy alternatives while reducing heart-risky foods.

For example, you can eat fish or chicken in place of red meat for better health.

However, substituting refined carbs for animal fats, such as replacing your breakfast bacon with a sugary cereal or a piece of cake, will not reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.

3. Focus on high-fiber food

Fiber-rich foods can help lower bad cholesterol and supply nutrients that can help prevent heart disease.

It may also assist you in losing weight as an added benefit. Because fiber lingers in the stomach longer than other foods, you will feel fuller for longer, allowing you to eat less.

Printable Cardiac Diet Plan in PDF

Meal TypeIngredientsQuantity
Breakfast1% fat milk8 oz
Regular Oatmeal1 cup
Banana1 Piece (medium)
Whole wheat bread and soft margarine1 slice with 1 teaspoon
LunchFruit plate with orange, fresh strawberries, peach½ sliced, ½ cup, and 2 halves
Unsalted crackers5 pieces
Low-sodium cottage cheese¾ cups
DinnerBaked potato and soft margarine1 piece and 2 teaspoons
Herb baked fish3 oz
Sliced tomatoesFew slices
Steamed spinach with lemon juice½ cup
Baked apple1 medium piece
SnacksLow-fat pudding1 cup
Low-sodium turkey sandwich with whole wheat bread½ piece
Salt-free peanut butter and low-sodium grain crackers2 tablespoons and 4 pieces respectively


Maintaining a healthy heart is crucial. That’s where a cardiac diet plan comes to the rescue. In this article, we have discussed the basics of a cardiac diet plan and its meal plan.

However, food choice during the cardiac diet also depends on your requirements. Hope it assists you in getting all the information you require for a cardiac diet.

See Also

Low Sodium Cardiac Diet Plan

3 Day Cardiac Diet Plan

Cardiac Diabetic Diet Plan

How Much Sodium Can You Have on a Cardiac Diet

24 Low Sodium Fast Foods

Printable High Protein Foods List

How to Eat Clean?

Vegetarian Protein Sources (PDF)

High Magnesium Food List