In order to keep your LDL and your risk for heart disease low, you should start on the Heart Healthy Diet. The Heart Healthy Diet is an eating plan that can help keep your blood cholesterol low and decrease your chance of developing heart disease. Remember: the Heart Healthy Diet is fine for the whole family, including children from the age of 2-4 onward. Children under 2 years of age should not follow the Heart Healthy Diet – they need more fat to provide enough calories for growth and development.
Heart Healthy Diet Guidelines — you should eat:
- 8-10% of the day’s total calories from saturated fat.
- 30 percent or less of the day’s total calories from fat.
- Less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
- Limit sodium intake to 2400 milligrams a day.
- Just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and reduce your blood cholesterol level. (Ask your doctor or registered dietitian what is a reasonable calorie level for you.)
Heart Healthy Diet and You – Your Personal Eating Plan
The recommendations for cholesterol and sodium are the same for everyone on the Heart Healthy Diet, regardless of the number of calories they should eat. You should eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day and no more than 2400 milligrams of sodium a day.
The recommendations for saturated fat and total fat are based on the percentage of calories you eat; the actual amount that you eat will vary depending on how many calories you eat.