Heart Smart Eating Habits

Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and you are never too young or old to start caring for it. Start by being mindful of what you eat. You can lower your risk of heart disease and its associated risk factors such as excess weight, hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes by eating a healthy balanced diet that incorporates a variety of nutrient-rich foods.

Heart-smart eating is all about balance, portion control and variety.

Healthy Eating Tips

Well-balanced diet

No single food can provide all the nutrients that your body needs. That is why you need to eat a wide variety of foods in the right amounts to meet your daily nutritional needs.

Follow the Heart Smart Eating Plate to have a balance mix of food, maximise nutrient intake and practice portion control to prevent excessive weight gain and reap benefits for your heart.

Plate

Portions

1/4 Plate of Protein

  • Helps build and repair tissues in the body
  • Choose healthier protein options, e.g. lean meat, fish and plant-based protein (such as tofu and legumes)
  • Aim for 2 servings of oily fish a week, as they contain Omega-3 fatty acids which are beneficial for overall heart health

Recommended daily intake

2 to 3 servings of protein per day, or 1 serving per meal.

Individuals with medical conditions such as chronic kidney disease may need a low protein diet. Please consult your physician.

What counts as one serving?

  • 1 palm-sized piece of lean meat, fish or skinless poultry (90g)
  • 2 glasses of low-fat milk or soy milk (500ml)
  • 2 small blocks of tofu (170g)
  • 5 medium prawns (90g)
  • ¾ cup* of cooked pulses(peas, beans, lentills) (120g)
  • 3 eggs(150g)

*250ml cup

1/4 Plate of Whole-Grains

  • Provides energy to the body gradually and steadily
  • Packed with nutrients and fibre, this means it keeps you full for longer, which is good for weight management, helps to prevent constipation and lowers blood cholesterol levels

Recommended daily intake

At least 2 to 3 servings of whole-grains daily, or 1 serving per meal.

What counts as one serving?

  • ½ bowl* cooked brown rice (100g)
  • ½ bowl* cooked whole-grain noodles, pasta or bee hoon (100g)
  • 2 slices wholemeal bread (60g)
  • ²⁄3bowl* uncooked oatmeal (50g)
  • 2 wholemeal chapatis (60g)
  • 4 plain wholemeal biscuits (60g)

Source: Health Promotion Board

*rice bowl

1/2 Plate of Fruit & Vegetables

  • Loaded with dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are naturally present in plants and may help in reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases.
  • Like the colours of a rainbow, there is a colourful variety of fruit and vegetables. These colours represent different vitamins, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Consuming a rainbow of fruit and vegetables helps you to reap the benefits of these nutrients plus the goodness of fibre.

Recommended daily intake
2 servings of fruit and 2 servings of vegetables per day.

What counts as one serving?

  • 1 small apple, orange, pear or mango (130g)
  • 1 wedge of papaya, pineapple or watermelon (130g)
  • 10 grapes or longans(50g)
  • 1 medium banana
  • ¼ round plate* ofcooked vegetables
  • 150g of raw leafy vegetables
  • 100g of raw non leafy vegetables
  • ¾ mug** of cooked leafy vegetables (100g)
  • ¾ mug** of cooked non leafy vegetables (100g)

Tips on having more fruit and vegetables

  • Have a fruit for breakfast daily.
  • Add fruit such as berries and bananas to your cereal, oats or toast.
  • Include one or two vegetables as side dishes for lunch and dinner.
  • Choose beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob, or a side salad instead of French fries.
  • Add chopped vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers and mushrooms into your recipes.
  • When cooking vegetables, use low heat to minimise nutrient loss and go for lower fat cooking methods.
  • Puree fruit and vegetables into a delicious sauce to go with your dishes.
  • Instead of dessert, have a fruit at the end of your meal.
  • Feeling peckish between meals? Have some fruit or raw vegetable sticks as a snack.

Go for whole fruit and vegetables instead of fruit/vegetable juices.

3-5-7 Healthy Heart Principles

3 Highs
High in fibre, whole food, and plant-based protein

  • Consume plenty of fruit, vegetables, soy products, beans and legumes.
    These colourful goodies also provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Fibre, especially soluble fibre, helps to lower the cholesterol in your body.
    Soluble fibre dissolves in water to form a gel-like material. It can be found in oats, peas, beans, apples, citrus fruits, carrots, barley and psyllium.
5 Lows
Low in alcohol, fats, cholesterol, salt, and sugar

  • Choose lean meat and skinless poultry cooked in healthier methods (e.g. steam, poach, grill, stir fry, bake, boil, stew).
  • Go easy on table salt, seasoning and pickles to keep your sodium intake low.
  • If you have a sweet tooth, consume sugar-laden food and drinks sparingly.
Eat 70% Full
Do you burp out loud after a meal? Chances are that you may have overeaten. If you think your stomach is 70% full, it is probably just right. Have small frequent meals instead of 3 big meals.

Learn More About

Healthy Eating Tips

For professional advice on heart-healthy eating or if you would like to engage us for nutrition talks, please email [email protected] or call 6354 9365.

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for information only, it is not meant to substitute direct medical advice from your doctor or clinician.

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