The Heart Foundation has a range of evidence-based position statements for health professionals including dietitians, nutritionists, general practice, allied health and health professionals working in the area of nutrition and cardiovascular health.
Heart healthy eating patterns are based on a combination of foods, chosen regularly, over time. This optimal combination is outlined in the Heart Foundation’s Heart Healthy Eating Principles which encourage people to eat:
- Plenty of vegetables, fruits and wholegrains.
- A variety of healthy protein sources especially fish and seafood, legumes (such as beans and lentils), nuts and seeds. Smaller amounts of eggs and lean poultry can also be included in a heart healthy diet. If choosing red meat, make sure the meat is lean and limit to 1-3 times a week.
- Unflavoured milk, yoghurt and cheese. Those with high blood cholesterol should choose reduced fat varieties.
- Healthy fat choices with nuts, seeds, avocados, olives and their oils for cooking.
- Herbs and spices to flavour foods, instead of adding salt.
This style of eating is naturally low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar and rich in unsaturated fats (MUFA, omega-3 PUFA, and omega-6 PUFA), along with wholegrains, fibre, and antioxidants. Eating this way can help improve the heart health of all Australians by reducing CVD risk factors such as high blood pressure and blood lipids and decreasing the risk of CVD events and mortality.
Our Heart Healthy Eating Patterns position statement outlines our approach to healthy eating, underpinned by a strong base of evidence reports.
- Position statement: Heart Healthy Eating Patterns (PDF)
- Position statement: Meat & Heart Healthy Eating (PDF)
- Position statement: Eggs & Heart Healthy Eating (PDF)
- Position statement: Dairy & Heart Healthy Eating (PDF)
- Position statement: Dietary Fat & Heart Healthy Eating (PDF)
- Position statement: Salt (PDF)
- Position statement: Fish & Seafood (PDF)
- Position statement: Phytosterol/stanol enriched foods (PDF)
- Summary of evidence: Eggs & Cardiovascular Health (PDF)
- Summary of evidence: Dairy & Cardiovascular Health (PDF)
- Evidence check: Sax Institute, Animal sourced protein (meat and poultry) and heart health (PDF)
- Evidence review: Collins C, Burrows T, Rollo M. (2017) Dietary patterns and cardiovascular disease outcomes: an evidence check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute for the National Heart Foundation of Australia. 2017. (PDF)
- Evidence review: Clifton P and Keogh J. Dietary fats and cardiovascular disease: an evidence check rapid review brokered by the Sax Institute for the National Heart Foundation of Australia. 2017. (PDF)
- Evidence review: Wu J, et al (2017) Levels of trans fats in the food supply and consumption in Australia: an Expert Commentary brokered by the Sax Institute for the National Heart Foundation of Australia, 2015. (PDF)
- Evidence summary: Indications for omega-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease.w of evidence on fish, fish oils, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular health (2015) Published in Heart, Lung and Circulation
- Summary of evidence: Phytosterol/stanol enriched foods, updated 2017. (PDF)
- Review of evidence: Fish, fish oils, n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and cardiovascular health 2008. (PDF)
- Summary of evidence. Dietary electrolytes and cardiovascular disease, 2006 (PDF)
- Health Professionals Webinar – Dietary Fats
- Health Professionals Webinar - Heart healthy eating principles
Resources for practice
- Heart Disease in Australia A2 Poster
- Have a Heart Healthy Day Brochure
- Tips for including marine omega-3 in your diet, 2015 (PDF)
- Sources of omega-3 (marine and plant based), 2015 (PDF)
- Q&A on omega-3 and cardiovascular disease for health professionals, 2015 (PDF)
- Q&A on omega-3 and cardiovascular disease for general population, 2015 (PDF)
- Q&As on plant sterol enriched foods for health professionals, 2017 (PDF)
- Q&As on plant sterol enriched foods for the general population, 2017 (PDF)
Related food & nutrition blogs
- In 2017, the National Health and Medical Research Council released the Nutrient Reference Values for sodium. We support the recommendation that all Australians should consume less than 5grams (<2,000mg sodium) per day.
- We support the recommendations on sodium, potassium, free sugars and dietary fat from the World Health Organization.