4 Simple diet tips to good heart health

A good diet is key for a healthy heart and can even reduce the chances of getting diabetes, so here are some ways you can make the right food choices:

Moderate Your Sodium Intake

Sauces, canned and processed foods contain a high content of sodium so a minimal amount of these products should be consumed.

  • Taste your food first before adding salt or sauces. If necessary, do so sparingly.
  • Avoid salted and preserved food, such as ikan bilis (dried anchovies), salted eggs, luncheon meat, sausages and ham.
  • Ask for less gravy or sauce when eating out.
  • Spice up your dishes with garlic, onion, ginger, vinegar, lemon juice, mint leaves, black pepper or coriander instead of seasonings containing sodium.

Get Your Fat Balance Right

To reduce your blood cholesterol level, it is important to reduce the total fat intake from your diet. However, there are different types of fats in our food and not all fats are the same.

  • Saturated fat — this is high-cholesterol fat, mainly found as animal fat or in full-fat dairy products and food prepared with palm oil, coconut oil and coconut milk.
  • Trans fat — this, too, is high-cholesterol fat, mainly found in commercial deep-fried food, baked products, and fast food.
  • Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — these are healthier fats, which are mainly found in vegetable oils (e.g. olive oil and canola oil), nuts, seeds, and oily fish.

Tips to reduce your total fat intake:

  • Use less oil when cooking, and remove all visible fat before eating.
  • Instead of deep-frying food, select healthier cooking methods such as steaming, boiling, and grilling.
  • Choose lean meat or poultry without skin.
  • Limit deep-fried foods to one or two times a week.
  • Choose fat-free or lower-fat food products, such as low-fat milk and fat-free yoghurt.
  • Go for healthier cooking oils with polyunsaturated fat (e.g. corn, soybean) or monounsaturated fat (e.g. olive, canola).

Moderate Cholesterol Intake with a Low-Cholesterol Diet

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Intake

Excessive alcohol consumption is related to increased blood triglycerides level, high blood pressure, stroke, increased body weight, liver problem, abnormal heart rhythms, and some cancers.

Some studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption might produce some benefits among heart failure patients; however the results are inconclusive. Therefore, given the possible health risks associated with drinking, it is recommended that people who do not consume any alcohol should not start drinking.

Consult your dietitian or doctor on the benefits and risks of consuming alcohol in moderation.

Increase Fibre Intake

Whole grains, fruits and vegetables which are high in fibre are known to be beneficial in lowering blood pressure.

  • Choose whole meal or multigrain bread over white bread.
  • Choose fruit or vegetables, instead of salty snack foods.
  • Aim for two servings of fruits and two servings of vegetables a day.

Control Fluid Intake

Symptoms of heart failure may be controlled by restricting your daily fluid intake. Check with your doctors if there is a need for fluid restriction and the recommended amount of your daily fluid intake. Sources of fluid include plain water and any type of beverage, soup, fruit, porridge etc. Despite the importance of good heart health, it is still important to have critical illness coverage.

Sources of Further Information

  • Dietitian — to find a dietitian in Tan Tock Seng Hospital, call 6357 8322 for an appointment. It is recommended that you consult a dietitian for an evaluation of your current eating habits and an assessment of your specific dietary needs for your health conditions. Individualised advice and a personalised nutrition plan, such as a cholesterol diet plan, can be developed to meet your nutritional needs.
  • Your doctor — you will need to obtain a referral from your doctor for a consultation with a dietician.
  • Our 3 Plus Critical Illness Plan, an affordable critical illness plan which covers severe stages of stroke, heart attack and all stages of cancer.

At Tiq by Etiqa, we’re always looking for ways to help you be prepared for life’s surprises and inevitabilities, while empowering you to “Live Unlimited” and take control of your tomorrow. In our effort to do that, we have partnered with Autumn, a digital wealth, health and lifestyle app that helps users seamlessly plan their future.

This article is contributed by Autumn.


Information is correct as of  7 December 2023.

This policy is underwritten by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd (Company Reg. No. 201331905K). This content is for the reference only and is not a contract of insurance. Full details of the policy terms and conditions can be found in the policy contract. The information contained on this product advertisement is intended to be valid in Singapore only and shall not be construed as an offer to sell or solicitation to buy or provision of any insurance product outside Singapore. You should seek advice from a financial adviser before deciding to purchase the policy. If you choose not to seek advice, you should consider if the policy is suitable for you. As this product has no savings or investment feature, there is no cash value if the policy ends off if the policy is terminated prematurely. This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit us the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC web-sites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg). This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Tiq by Etiqa Insurance Pte. Ltd.

A digital insurance channel that embraces changes to provide simple and convenient protection, Tiq’s mission is to make insurance transparent and accessible, inspiring you today to be prepared for life’s surprises and inevitabilities, while empowering you to “Live Unlimited” and take control of your tomorrow.

With a shared vision to change the paradigm of insurance and reshape customer experience, Etiqa created the strong foundation for Tiq. Because life never stops changing, Etiqa never stops progressing. A licensed life and general insurance company registered in the Republic of Singapore and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Etiqa is governed by the Insurance Act and has been providing insurance solutions since 1961. It is 69% owned by Maybank, Southeast Asia’s fourth largest banking group, with more than 22 million customers in 20 countries; and 31% owned by Ageas, an international insurance group with 33 million customers across 16 countries.

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