skip to main content
For New Patients
Healtheuniversity > English > Cardiac College > Treat Heart Disease > Risk Factors > Unhealthy Eating

Unhealthy Eating

Why Is an Unhealthy Diet a Risk Factor?

Unhealthy eating habits can lead to:

What Is a "Heart Healthy" Diet?

A heart healthy diet is one that includes:

  • plenty of vegetables and fruits
  • healthy fats in place of saturated and trans fats
  • whole grains and cereals, beans and lentils
  • fatty fish at least twice a week
  • a handful of unsalted nuts and seeds most days
  • lower fat dairy products

Desirable level

  • Total fat intake: Less than 30% of total calories per day (less than 7% of calories from saturated fat and less than 1% of calories from trans fat)
  • Fibre intake: 25-50 grams per day
  • Sodium intake: Less than 1500 mg/day
  • Added sugar:
    • women: up to 5 teaspoons per day
    • men: up to 9 teaspoons per day

What Does "A Fat Intake of Less Than 30% of Total Calories" Mean?

If you are a man consuming 1800 calories per day:

  • Total fat for the day = 60 grams with up to 14 grams (approximately 3 teaspoons) from saturated fat

If you are a woman consuming 1500 calories per day:

  • Total fat for the day = 50 grams with up to 11 grams (approximately 2.5 teaspoons) from saturated fat 
Last Reviewed: