Cardiac Diet: What Is It?

    cardiac diet

    Martin Alvarez

    Martin Alvarez
    Nutritionist/Dietitian Professional Guide

    Updated on 11/26/2022

    What is The Cardiac Diet & How Does It Work?

    The cardiac diet, as the name implies, is an eating plan that You can use to help you reduce the impact your diet can have on the health of your heart. The goal is to reduce the body's sodium and fat intake to function better. As a result of too much sodium in your diet, your blood pressure can rise, and as a result, you will develop hypertension. One of the significant risk factors for heart attacks and other heart problems is the presence of hypertension, one of the critical risk factors for hypertension. The problem with fat is that it can cause plaque to build up on the walls of your arteries, resulting in heart disease.

    Do You know of Any Other Names For This Diet?

    Heart-healthy diets


    Heart-healthy diets, low-sodium diets, and the DASH diet are other names for the cardiac diet, which can also be referred to as the heart-healthy diet. In short, DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop hypertension.

    What are The Benefits of A Cardiac Diet For Cancer Patients?

    What are The Benefits of A Cardiac Diet For Cancer Patients


    The treatment of cancer can lead to both short-term and long-term problems with the heart. A cardiac diet is a good idea for people trying to control hypertension, reduce cholesterol, or reduce their risk of heart disease to follow a cardiac diet.

    What are the Guidelines For a Cardiovascular Diet?

    What are the guidelines for a cardiovascular diet?


    You can avoid fat and sodium by following these guidelines:

    You should not consume more than 25-30 percent of your daily calories from total fat (this includes saturated fat).

    You should consume less than 7 percent of your daily calories from saturated fats.

    Trans fats should be avoided.

    Do not consume more than 200 milligrams of dietary cholesterol per day.

    Take care to limit your salt intake; aim to consume less than 2 grams of sodium per day if possible.

    It is recommended to consume alcohol in moderation: one serving of alcohol should be finished by women per day, and men per day should consume two servings. (A serving of alcohol equals 4 ounces of beer, 5.25 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.)

    On a cardiac diet, what foods can you eat

    what foods can you eat


    Food Groups


    Foods To Inclide


    Products derived from milk and dairy

    The milk, yogurt, or cottage cheese should be fat-free or 1 percent fat

    Cheese that is fat-free or low in fat


    The vegetables

    All vegetables are fresh

    Vegetables all frozen

    Canned vegetables with low sodium (should be drained and rinsed)


    Fruit and Juices

    Fruits are all fresh

    Fruits that are frozen


    Grains and breads

    Bread, pasta, crackers, and cereals made from whole wheat

    Brown Rice

    The oats

    The quinoa

    The barley crop

    Pretzels and crackers with low fat

    Popcorn that's been air-popped


    Proteins and other foods containing meat   

    Extra-lean ground meat and beef and pork cuts (loin, leg, round)

    Poultry without skin

    The fish

    Wild game such as venison

    Beans and peas that have been dried

    A variety of nuts and nut butter

    Alternatives to meat made from soy or vegetable protein

    Whites of eggs or egg substitutes

    Cuts of meat or soy protein that are made from lean meat


    Oils and fats

    Unrefined oils (olive, peanut, soy, sunflower, and canola oils)

    Spreads made from vegetable oil and soft margarine

    Dressings for salads

    Nuts and seeds

    The avocado



    The water

    Water that sparkles

    Drinking tea

    The coffee


    A Cardiac Diet Involves Avoiding Certain Foods. What are They?

    A Cardiac Diet Involves Avoiding Certain Foods. What Are They


    When following a cardiac diet, you should be aware of the importance of salt and saturated fat in your diet. Generally, saturated fats are derived from animal products, such as butter and lard, both animal products.

    Groupings Of FoodFoods To Avoid
    Dairy products and milk

    Whole milk

    2 percent milk

    Yogurt or ice cream made from whole milk

    The cream

    Blended half-and-half

    Cheese cream

    The sour cream

    The cheese




    The fried vegetables

    Butter, cheese, or cream-based sauces on vegetables



    Juices and fruits

    Fried fruits

    Butter or cream served with fruits



    Breads and Grains

    Many high-fat bakery products are on the market, including doughnuts, biscuits, croissants, pastries, pies, and cookies.

    Snacks made with partially hydrogenated oils are crackers, cheese puffs, snack mixes, and butter-flavored popcorn.



    Proteins from meats and other sources

    Meats with higher fat contents (ribs, T-bone steaks, and ground beef)

    The bacon

    The sausage

    Salami and bologna are cold cuts

    Beef corned

    The hot dog

    Meats from organs (liver, brains, and sweetbreads)

    Poultry with a skin

    Fish, poultry, and meat fried 

    Egg yolks and whole eggs



    Oils and fats

    The butter

    Margarine in a stick

    The shortening 

    Oils partially hydrogenated

    Oils from tropical plants (coconut, palm, and palm kernel)


    What Medications Should I Avoid While on the Cardiac Diet?

    What Medications Should I Avoid While on the Cardiac Diet?


    You must consume foods rich in vitamin K daily while taking blood thinners like warfarin (Coumadin®, Jantoven®). You will be able to prevent blood clots and bleeding. The diet's best sources of vitamin K are leafy green vegetables such as kale, spinach, and collards. Ask your doctor or dietitian if you want more information about vitamin K and blood thinners.

    What Common Complaints Do People Have About Cardiac Diets & How Do You Resolve Them?

    What Common Complaints Do People have About Cardiac Diets


    One of the most common complaints among people on the cardiac diet is that there is not enough salt in their diet. Several ways exist to enhance the flavor of your food without having to add any salt to it.

    Some Suggestions are As Follows:

    • There is nothing like a burst of acidity to brighten up a dish. It is a good idea to try lemon juice, lime juice, and vinegar together.
    • Herbs add flavor, whether they are dried or fresh. You can use herbs such as basil, bay leaf, dill, rosemary, parsley, sage, mustard, nutmeg, thyme, and paprika. You can also buy a sodium-free seasoning mix, or you can make your own at home with the help of a recipe.
    • It is possible to spice up your meals without adding too much sodium by using black pepper, red pepper flakes, and cayenne pepper. Even though hot sauce contains sodium, it won't add up to much if you use just a drop or two.
    • It is possible to purchase sodium-free seasoning blends, such as Mrs. You can make your salt-free blend by using Dash or McCormick's salt-free mix, or you can buy sodium-free seasoning blends, for example, Mrs. Dash's salt-free blend or you can make your seasoning blend at home.

    You Can Make A Spice Mix At Home

    You can use this blend of seasonings when trying to cut back on the amount of salt you consume in your daily diet. About a third of a cup is made from this.

    • Onion powder - 5 teaspoons
    • 2½ teaspoons of garlic powder
    • 2½ teaspoons of paprika
    • 2½ teaspoons of dry mustard
    • 2½ teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves
    • ½  teaspoons of white pepper
    • ¼ teaspoons of celery seed

    How Can People on the Cardiac Diet Stay Healthy?

    How Can People on the Cardiac Diet Stay healthy


    Make Sure You Choose Heart-Healthy Carbohydrates

    • Increase your viscous (soluble) fiber consumption by eating Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, turnips, apricots, mangoes, oranges, beans, barley, oatmeal, and oat bran. It would be best to consume 5 to 10 grams of protein daily. As you gradually increase your fiber intake, you should also increase the amount of water you drink. You will be able to avoid problems with gas in the future as a result of this.
    • Make sure to limit your diet's intake of sugar-sweetened products, such as table sugar, sweets, and other sugar-sweetened products, to maintain a healthy diet.

    Make Sure You Choose Fats That are Healthy for Your Heart

    Make sure you choose fats that are healthy for your heart.


    • Choose lean proteins and low-fat dairy products to reduce saturated fat in your diet.
    • The consumption of monounsaturated fats and omega-3 polyunsaturated fats benefits your heart health. You can get monounsaturated fat by eating nuts, avocados, olives, or olive oil. To get omega-3 fats, you can use canola, soybean, or walnut oil.

    By Choosing Protein-Rich Foods, You Can Reduce Your Fat Intake

    By choosing protein-rich foods, you can reduce your fat


    • You can bake, broil, roast, stew, or stir-fry very lean beef and pork cuts, such as those marked as "round" or "loin," as well as fish and poultry, depending on your preference.
    • When serving poultry (such as chicken or turkey), it is necessary to remove the skin.
    • In place of meat, you can get protein by eating plant foods (such as soy, dried beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds) or egg whites.

    Please Don't Overdo It on Sodium

    Please don't overdo it on sodium


    • You can control the amount of salt in your foods by cooking them yourself at home.
    • Whenever you shop for canned goods, choose low-sodium or no-sodium options if you want to reduce your sodium intake.
    • It would be best if you cooked with an as little salt as possible. In most recipes, you can reduce the amount of salt by at least half.

    Is It Okay To Use Salt Substitutes on the Cardiac Diet?

    Is It Okay To Use Salt Substitutes on the Cardiac Diet


    You should check with your doctor before using any salt substitutes. Your doctor may not want you to consume these products since they contain high amounts of potassium. People who suffer from kidney problems or are taking potassium-sparing diuretics need to take special care regarding potassium intake. In addition, other salt substitutes are safe for everyone, such as Mrs. Dash, which does not contain potassium.

    The Sodium Claims are as Follows:

    The Sodium Claims


    In terms of sodium and saturated fat, "low sodium" and "reduced saturated fat" refer to specific amounts. For a better understanding of those terms, here are a few key points:

    • Salt-free or sodium-free refers to products that contain no more than 5 milligrams of sodium per serving.
    • It is considered very low if it contains less than 35 milligrams of sodium.
    • A low-sodium food contains less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving.
    • The term "reduced sodium" refers to a product that contains at least 25 percent less sodium than regular (beware, though, the sodium content may still be very high).
    • A product that is light in sodium means it contains at least 50 percent less sodium than its full-sodium counterpart.

    The Saturated Fat Claim is as Follows:

    The Saturated Fat Claim is as Follows


    Do you know which foods have the right amount of salt or saturated fat? Let me share a few tips on reading soggy fat labels so you can make an informed decision.

    • Saturated fat-free products contain a maximum of 0.5 grams of saturated fat per serving and a maximum of 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
    • If a food is low in saturated fat, it has no more per serving than 1 gram of saturated fat and has no more than 15 percent of its calories from saturated fat.
    • A reduced saturated fat product will have at least 25 percent less saturated fat than the full-fat product and more than one gram of fat less than the full-fat product.

    To be healthy, you must choose foods that contain no more than 5 grams of total fat per serving, no more than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving, and no more than 0 grams of trans fat per serving.

    If I go Out to Eat, What are Some Heart-Healthy Foods That I Can Order?

    If I go Out to Eat, what are Some heart-healthy Foods That


    Feel free to make special requests when you are at a restaurant. Some suggestions are as follows:

    • Choose entrees, potatoes, and vegetables prepared without sauces, cheese, or butter (or ask for them to be served on the side).
    • It would be best if you ate a small portion of meat daily. It is well known that vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals.
    • It is best to avoid toppings such as crumbled bacon or cheese when making a sandwich.
    • In place of butter, ask for soft margarine or olive oil instead.
    • Food steamed, broiled, baked, roasted, or stir-fried are the best options for a cardiac diet.

    Frequently Asked Questions