Enter with your social identity

OR

Join using your email address

Would you like to create a UHC TV personal profile? Yes.
About
Your Expert
Comments
Ask a Question
Transcript
About

Ask the Expert

Tips for Following a Heart-Healthy Diet

Question: My husband had a heart attack. How can I help with his diet?

Answer from: Kathleen Zelman, R.D., nutrition expert

Heart-healthy diets are based on a Mediterranean diet, which is rich in omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber. The key is to eat foods that lower your cholesterol.

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
Your Expert

Ask the Expert

Meet Kathleen Zelman, Nutrition Expert

Watch bio video

Answering your questions about diet and nutrition

Kathleen Zelman, MPH, RD, LD is a nutrition expert with more than 30 years of experience helping people eat better. For years, Kathleen has spread the word about good nutrition as a radio host, national spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and as an award-winning nutrition journalist. She has been recognized by the Academy and the American Society for Nutrition for her work in translating scientific recommendations into user-friendly advice that motivates people to lead healthier lifestyles.

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
Comments
Ask a Question

Ask Kathleen Zelman, Nutrition Expert a Question

Ask Kathleen Zelman your questions about nutrition. Our experts choose from questions submitted by people like you.

Your question

If this is an emergency, call 911.

Please enter a valid email address

Please enter your question

The comments shared by experts in Ask the Expert do not reflect UnitedHealthcare views nor benefit plans. It is general educational information only, is not intended as medical advice, and does not replace consultation with a doctor, pharmacist, or other health care professional. Contact an appropriate health care professional with any questions and to determine what may be right for you. Check your health care benefit plan for specific coverage details.
Transcript

Ask the Expert: Kathleen Zelman My husband had a heart attack. How can I help his diet? One of our viewers writes in, my husband had a heart attack. How can I help his diet? Easy, a heart healthy diet is one that is good for you as well as anyone who has had heart disease. So, these are some tips that everyone can follow. Heart healthy diet; we use the Mediterranean style diet as our model. Because for years we have seen how beneficial a diet that they eat is good for your heart. It consists of fatty fish like salmon. Here is an example of my dinner last night, rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. The American Heart Association says eat fatty fish twice a week, that’s cardio protected. Also that consists of nuts, beans, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil. So that’s that basic foundation. Also include small amounts of eggs, dairy and meat. But, when it comes to that sort of lifestyle you can, along with exercise, you can really get your heart back on track. A few other things you can do, make sure that your diet and your husband’s diet is rich in soluble fiber because that can also help lower your cholesterol. Some ingredients that work to lower your cholesterol level, soluble fiber comes from oats, comes from beans, nuts, some fruits and some vegetables. So, include those in your diet. A couple of servings a day and that will help lower cholesterol and get your heart healthy and back on track. Healthy fats. Things like olive oil. What you want to limit in your diet are the saturated fats from butter, the fat marbled in meat, and fat in cheese. Those are saturated fat and we know that they can increase your cholesterol levels. So, that’s the last thing you want to do. Also, watch the trans fats but the good news is that food manufacturers are pulling trans fats out but look for those words, “hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” on labels because that’s that indicator that there are some trans fats. So, up the whole grains, beans and nuts and seafood. Limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fats. Keep an eye on sugary beverages and sugar sweetened refined treats because those need to be limited in your diet. But the combination with exercise really can help. There is one other product, worth looking for in the grocery store and those are products that are enriched with plant stanols. Plant stanols are naturally occurring but yet they are concentrated and added back into foods and these have been proven to also contribute to lowering blood cholesterol levels. So, you will find them in yogurts, orange juice, margarine, granola bars and a wide variety of products. So, there are all kinds of things that you can do. You can take ownership. You can get your heart back into good healthy condition by a diet that is heart healthy, cardio-protective and make sure that you work with your physician. Don’t stop taking any medications in favor of the diet but in combination the diet really can get you back on track.