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Healthy eating to help your heart

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Healthy eating to help your heart

September 29, 2021 is World Heart Day! A day that is all about spreading awareness of heart health and how we can support ourselves, our loved ones and our broader communities towards better heart health.

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death for Aussies and around the globe. One of the leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease is an unhealthy diet. This also means that one of the best things you can do for your heart health is to eat healthily. We’ve pumped out some key tips on healthy eating to help you help your heart.

Eat lots of fruit, vegetables and wholegrains


There’s a lot of good reasons to eat the recommended two serves of fruit and five serves of veggies a day, and one of them is your heart health. Fruit and vegetables are full of a range of vitamins and minerals, plus fibre and phytonutrients, all of which help prevent heart disease. Wholegrain foods are high in fibre, which prevents against heart disease by helping to keep your cholesterol levels in check.


  • Try to include fruit, vegetables and wholegrains at each (or most) meal and snack time

  • Fruit and vegetables are great in their many different forms (fresh, canned or frozen), so choose whichever works for you. Just go for canned fruits that are packed in their own juices and canned vegetables that are reduced salt

  • Make sure most grains and cereals you eat are wholegrain, e.g. wholemeal or wholegrain bread or wraps instead of white, brown rice instead of white rice

Eat a variety of lean meat or alternatives, limiting red meat intake


High intakes of red and processed meats are linked to higher risk of heart disease, as well as some cancers, while high intakes of fish and plant-based proteins (e.g. legumes) are linked to lower risk of heart disease. One of the main differences is the type of fats in these foods, red and processed meats are higher in saturated fats while fish and plant-based proteins are high in unsaturated fats.


  • Limit intake of red meat to 1-3 times per week and choose lean and unprocessed red meats (e.g. beef, lamb, kangaroo)

  • Eat mostly fish and seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds, and some lean poultry and eggs

Choose healthy fats and oils


The type and amount of fat we eat plays a major role in heart disease risk. Saturated fats (e.g. in processed meats) increase heart disease risk, while unsaturated fats (e.g. in nuts and legumes) decrease risk, mainly due to their impact on cholesterol levels.


  • Limit red meat and eat mostly fish and seafood, legumes, nuts and seeds instead

  • Choose foods that are high in unsaturated (healthy) fats e.g. avocado, nuts

  • Choose oils in cooking that are high in unsaturated fats e.g. olive oil, sunflower oil

  • If you have heart disease or high cholesterol, reduced fat dairy (milk, yoghurt, cheese and alternatives) is recommended as it also helps reduce total kilojoule intake

Limit salt intake, use herbs and spices instead


In short, eating too much salt increases the risk of high blood pressure, which leads to heart disease. The recommendation is to consume no more than 5 grams (or one teaspoon) of salt per day, however the average Australian consumes twice this amount.


  • Don’t add salt to food. Salt is naturally present in foods which gives us the amount our bodies need to function. Adding salt means we get too much which then has a negative effect (i.e. high blood pressure)

  • Use herbs and spices to add flavour instead

  • Choose lower salt varieties of foods (e.g. canned vegetables with no added salt, salt reduced sauces). Limiting intake of processed and packaged foods helps as these are the ones where salt is typically added

  • Have a look at the nutrition information panel on packaged products. Low salt/sodium foods are ones with <120mg per 100g

Check out our recipes for healthy eating ideas and inspiration!

Your Personal Healthy Eating Quiz

What you eat or don’t eat affects how you look, feel and perform. Take our short quiz to find out what foods you could introduce to help you be your best.

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What is healthy eating?

Eating healthy is making sure you enjoy a wide variety of foods from each of the five major food groups daily, in the amounts recommended. The five major food groups as recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating are:

  1. vegetables and legumes/bean
  2. fruit
  3. lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds, legumes/beans
  4. grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties
  5. milk, yoghurt, cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Foods are grouped together because they provide similar amounts of key nutrients and eating a variety of foods from the list above helps to promote good health and reduce the risk of disease.

How do I improve my diet?

If you want to improve your diet you have come to the right place. By completing the Healthy Eating Quiz you’ll receive instant personalised feedback and a report on your diet quality to highlight any areas where you can improve your overall eating habits. Your score is based on the frequency and variety of the foods consumed from the five major food groups mentioned above. No Money No Time can help you improve your score by providing tips, goals and suggestions. On top of this we will provide quick, cheap and healthy recipes as well as credible answers to diet hacks, myths and FAQ’s.

Is my diet healthy?

Dietary habits are different between people. Some people choose to follow a particular diet (i.e., Keto diet or vegan diet) while some have to make changes due to certain food restrictions or health conditions. If you want to know if what you usually eat is healthy, then do the Healthy Eating Quiz today to give you the answers in less than 10 minutes.

Why is healthy eating important?

Your HEQ score and personalised feedback report is based on the frequency and variety of healthy core foods you usually eat. This is important because no single food contains all the nutrients we need to stay healthy. Some foods are higher in nutrients than others and people who have a lot of variety in the foods they eat are more likely to be healthy and to stay healthy. In other words, if you can eat a large variety of vegetables as opposed to only 2-3 types of vegetables, the benefits are much greater. This type of diet also helps you to feel better, think better and perform better during your usual daily activities.

Take the Healthy Eating Quiz