WellSpan Home

Health Library

Diet to Help Prevent Heart Disease

You probably know that a healthy diet is important. Eating right can help prevent a number of problems such as high cholesterol and heart disease. But knowing exactly what a healthy diet looks like can be a challenge.

The USDA and the U.S. Department of Health teamed up to create an easy way to build a healthy diet for yourself. It’s called MyPlate. It uses a simple graphic to help you make healthy food choices to lower your risk for heart disease, as well as cancer, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Following a healthy diet plan

MyPlate offers recommendations from the 5 major food groups to help you eat a healthy diet. It also helps you choose the right portions of each food group by showing how much of each group belongs on your plate. The website ChooseMyPlate.gov has many other tools to help you learn how to select healthy foods.

MyPlate is divided into 5 food group categories, emphasizing the right amount of each food:

  • Grains.These include foods made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, or another cereal grain. Examples include whole wheat, brown rice, and oatmeal.

  • Vegetables. Vary your vegetables. Choose a variety of vegetables, including those that are dark green, red, and orange. Also choose peas and beans, and starchy vegetables.

  • Fruits. Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. Eat them whole, cut-up, or pureed.

  • Dairy. Milk products and many foods made from milk are part of this food group. Focus on fat-free or low-fat dairy products, as well as those that are high in calcium. If you are lactose intolerant, consider options like soy, rice, and almond milk. They have 130 or fewer calories per 8 ounces and are a healthy alternative to milk.

  • Protein. Go lean on protein. Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry. Vary your protein routine--choose more fish, nuts, seeds, peas, and beans.

Oils are not a food group, yet some, such as nut oils, have important nutrients that are good for you. Avoid solid fats, such as animal fats, because they are often high in saturated fat and contribute to heart disease.

MyPlate also includes guidelines on physical activity. If you are not physically active, you are more likely to get heart disease and related problems such as high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. He or she can help you figure out your exercise needs, and any risk factors you have for heart disease.

Diet and Cardiovascular Disease - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Foster, Sarah, RN, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: MMI board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2016-04-27T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2016-05-12T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2016-05-12T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2016 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

I would like to:

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×