Fruit and vegetables

Eat at least 5 portions of fruit and veg a day. There’s good evidence that they help to lower the risk of coronary heart disease. They can be fresh, frozen, dried or tinned, and cooked or raw.

Oily fish

Eat at least 2 portions of fish a week, and make 1 portion an oily fish, such as mackerel, trout or salmon. Making this small change to your diet can improve your chances of survival after a heart attack. Or, if you’ve had a heart attack, aim for 2-3 portions of oily fish a week.


Eating too much fat, especially saturated fat, can raise your blood cholesterol levels. In turn, this can increase your risk of coronary heart disease. For most people, the total amount of saturated fat they eat has much more of an impact on their blood cholesterol levels than eating foods that are high in cholesterol, like eggs and shellfish. So, help your heart stay healthy by cutting back on the total amount of fat you eat.

  • Replace saturated fats with small amounts of monounsaturated and polysunsaturated fats.
  • Choose lean cuts of meat, and limit processed meats like burgers and sausages to every now and then.
  • Use semi-skimmed or skimmed milk and low-fat cheese.


Reducing salt will help you maintain a lower blood pressure. This in turn may reduce your risk of coronary heart disease. Time to bin the salt grinder and use herbs to season your food instead! Also, look out for the salt content if you buy ready-made foods, as these are often high in salt.


Too much alcohol can increase your blood pressure, which could lead to heart disease and stroke. Alcohol is high in calories and may make you pile on the pounds. Binge drinking can also damage your heart muscle over time.