Blue Cross Blue Shield of Mississippi
Foods For Your Heart

American Heart Month: Foods For Your Heart

In observance of American Heart Month, we want you to keep your heart happy and healthy.

Keeping your heart happy should be a daily focus. Whether it’s a brisk walk or substituting your fries for a side salad, small steps add up to reducing your risk of heart disease. Who doesn’t want a happy AND healthy heart?

The first step may be to incorporate more heart healthy foods. Try these foods to keep your heart and body strong.

Heart-friendly foods:
  • Vegetables: leafy greens, spinach, collard greens, kale, cabbage, broccoli and carrots

  • Fruits: apples, bananas, oranges, pears, grapes, prunes and avocados

  • Whole grains: plain oatmeal, brown rice and whole-grain bread or tortillas

  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy foods

  • Fish: salmon, tuna and trout

  • Leans means: 95% lean ground beef, pork, chicken or turkey

  • Eggs

  • Nuts, seeds and soy products

  • Legumes: kidney beans, lentils, chickpeas, black-eyed peas and lima beans

Limit sodium, saturated fats, added sugars and alcohol.

Limiting your intake of sodium, saturated fats, added sugars and alcohol can help decrease the amount of “bad” LDL cholesterol in your body. The suggested amount for each of these are provided below.

Sodium: Children and adults over the age of 14 should consume less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day. If you have high blood pressure, the amount will be less than that, so be sure to speak with your Blue Primary Care Provider.

Saturated Fats: These fats should be less than 10% of your daily food choices. Be aware of butters, cheeses and fatty meats.

Sugars: When it comes to sugar intake, you should limit the number of calories you consume each day from sugar. Sweetened drinks, snacks and sweets should be limited accordingly.

Alcohol: Talk with your Blue Primary Care Provider about alcohol intake. They may suggest you drink only a limited amount or none.

While your diet is one way to be friendly to your heart, there are a few more lifestyle habits that can help. To keep your heart happy, be sure to quit smoking tobacco, stay active, know your blood pressure numbers and make sleep a priority.

Let’s keep our heart healthy, Mississippi!


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

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