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The basic principles of healthy eating

Healthy eating is one of the most important things you can do to improve your general health.

Nutritious, balanced meals and healthy snacks may reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke by helping you increase your intake of heart-healthy nutrients, manage your weight, keep your blood pressure down, control your blood sugar levels and lower your cholesterol.

A healthy eating plan may also boost your overall feeling of well-being, giving you more energy and vitality. It may make you look better and feel good about yourself, inside and out.

How to make heart-healthy choices

With the vast array of food choices available today, it's difficult to know where to begin. You may wish to start by aiming to include items from the four food groups: vegetables and fruit, whole-grain products, lower-fat milk products and alternatives, and lower-fat meat and alternatives. Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide provides direction on the types and amount of food we should eat for overall health. It makes it easier than ever to plan your meals and snacks around a wide variety of delicious and heart-healthy foods.

Reading the Nutrition Facts table on food products will help you make smart choices.

When you're grocery shopping, look for the Health Check™ symbol on food packaging, the Heart and Stroke Foundation's food information program, based on Canada's Food Guide. It’s your assurance that the product contributes to an overall healthy diet.  For more information on Health Check, go to healthcheck.org

For exclusive, heart-healthy recipes, please go to our recipe file.

Last reviewed: April 2011