The Cleveland Clinic Heart and Vascular Institute recommends the Mediterranean diet due to its proven cardiovascular benefits. Eating heart healthy means eating:
- Mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil and nuts.
- Some fish and poultry.
- Minimal dairy products, red meat, processed meats and sweets.
To help you follow a heart healthy diet and make it easy for you – we have many delicious recipes on our website. To help guide our selections, all recipes meet the Go! Foods® criteria. Try some of our tasty healthy recipes for meals, snacks, side dishes, and desserts.
All Go! Foods® meet these nutritional criteria:
- Minimal Saturated Fat: less than 4 grams for main dishes; less than 2 grams for side dishes, soups and desserts
Reason: Saturated fats "harden" arteries and cause high LDL cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and some cancers.
- No Trans Fat
Reason: Trans fat has no redeeming qualities! It increases bad LDL cholesterol and decreases good HDL cholesterol, raising the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- Minimal Added Sugars and Syrups: less than 4 grams for main dishes and desserts; less than 2 grams for side dishes and soups
Reason: Adding sugar adds empty calories and causes blood sugar to fluctuate.
- 100% Whole Grain
Reason: Whole grains are a vital source of fiber. Fiber has been shown to decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, maintain blood sugar and insulin levels, assist with regular bowel movements and keep you feeling fuller longer.
- Minimal Sodium: No more than 600 mg in entrees; 480 mg in sides and desserts
Reason: High sodium intake is associated with high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke and worsening of kidney disease, heart failure and other conditions.
Cleveland Clinic dietitians and wellness experts developed Go! Foods® to give you the green light so you’re sure you’re making the healthiest food selections. Our nutrition experts certify that recipes carrying the Go! Foods® label meet national nutritional guidelines. Cleveland Clinic’s Go! Foods® program makes it easier to find the most healthy food choices.