selection of healthy foods

Eat for heart health and reduce your salt intake

Australians eat way too much salt. The average daily intake is 9 grams, which is almost twice the recommended amount. It’s coming mainly from snacks, processed meats, dips and baked goods. Here is what you should be eating.

June 3, 2021
selection of healthy foods

Fruit, vegetables and wholegrains

  • These foods contain a variety of vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre and antioxidants, and have been shown to help prevent heart disease.
  • Wholegrains are foods like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, grainy bread and oats. These foods are full of fibre and can help lower your cholesterol.  

A variety of healthy protein-rich foods 

  • The best options are plant-based proteins like beans, chickpeas, lentils, nuts and seeds, as well as fish and seafood. These foods can reduce your risk of developing heart disease.
  • Eggs and poultry are also protein-rich foods that can be enjoyed as part of a healthy eating pattern.
  • If you eat red meat, it’s best to limit it to 1-3 meals per week as research shows it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease.  

Healthy fats and oils 

  • Choose foods with high amounts of healthy fats, such as avocados, olives, nuts and seeds. Use healthy oils for cooking, such as olive, canola and sunflower oil. These foods can help lower your cholesterol.    

Milk, yoghurt and cheese

  • Small servings of these foods are an important source of calcium, protein and other minerals.
  • Unflavoured versions with no added sugar are the healthiest options.
  • If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, choose reduced-fat milk, yoghurt, and cheese.

Herbs and spices

  • Use herbs and spices to flavour foods instead of salt. 
  • Eating too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease. On average, Australians are eating nearly double the recommended amount of salt. 
  • Many people don’t realise that most of the salt they eat is found in processed and packaged foods such as canned foods, deli meats (like ham and salami) and baked goods.   


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