Indian diet for heart patient
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Faulty Indian dietary habits are the main reason behind many lifestyle disorders like Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (CVD – Heart and blood vessel diseases). The annual number of deaths from CVD or Heart Disease has risen from 2.26 million (2016) to 4.77 million (2020).

1 out of 4 deaths in India is due to Heart/CardioVascular Diseases. What is most shocking is that prey for this epidemic like situation prevailing in India is Young Indians( 20-40 years). Its high time to modify our diet and lifestyle to fight against lifestyle disorders like CVD. This article will help you understand Indian Diet for Healthy Heart and how to Boost heart health naturally with food.

Indian diet for a heart patient 1

Indian Diet Plan for Healthy Heart

Unhealthy eating habits like eating sweets after a meal, adding too many spices to the food, using the same cooking oil, excessive salt intake, less fiber, and excess consumption of animal-based food are some of the common practices in Indian households. These are the main reasons for increasing heart related diseases among the Indian Population.

Are you looking for an Indian diet plan for Healthy Heart? Is a vegetarian diet best for heart health? Will eating eggs daily increase cholesterol? what are the best non-vegetarian sources for heart health? Superfoods for the heart?

If you have these questions read till the end to find out the answers.

Boost your heart health naturally by adapting the Indian diet plan for a healthy heart. Changing food habits is difficult but not impossible. Start with these seven steps to your way to a healthy heart.

1. Include more fruits and vegetables in the daily diet

Vegetables and fruits are a good source of vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories and rich in dietary fiber. Eating good portions of vegetables and salad will make you eat less high-fat foods.

Always remember :

  • To choose fresh fruits rather than canned fruits or Juices. Raw foods contain more fiber than processed ones.
  • Eat the skin on Fruits such as Apples and Pears.
  • Have a bowl of Salad before Lunch and Dinner. Do not add dressings on it, just add lime juice.
  • Have a serving of raw vegetable cold-pressed juice every day.
Indian Fruits and Indian Vegetables to be
included for a healthy heart
Indian Fruits and Indian Vegetables
to be limited for healthy heart.
Fruits like Orange, Sweet lime/Mosambi, Pears,
Apple, Papaya, Guava, Pomegranate, and Amla
are best for heart health.
High Calorie fruits like Banana, Mango, Sapota/Chicoo, Custard apple and Jack fruit.
Almonds (in moderation)Cashew nuts, Dates, Raisins and currants
Vegetables like Bottle gourds, Ash gourds,
Ladies finger, Ivy gourd, Brinjal, Bitter gourds,
Ridge Gourds, Snake gourds, Cabbage, Cauliflowers, Carrots and Beetroots can be safely consumed.
Potatoes, Yam , Colocasia, Sweet Potato, and Tapioca.
cold pressed fruit and vegetable Juices and Fresh cut salads.Tetra Pack fruit juices

As such Fruits and Vegetables do not cause any harm to health. But if you are diagnosed with Heart Disease along with Diabetes it is advisable to limit high-calorie fruits and vegetables. You can enjoy them in moderation once or twice a month depending on your sugar levels and blood pressure.

Indian diet for a heart patient 2

2. Replace Simple carbohydrates with complex Carbohydrates.

Whole grains are good sources of fiber and other nutrients that play a role in regulating blood pressure and boost heart health. Reduce the intake of simple carbohydrates that are present in processed and packaged food.

Indian Carbohydrates to be
included for a healthy heart
Indian Carbohydrates to be excluded for healthy heart

Whole Grains and their products like Whole Wheat Atta, Daliya, sooji, Hand pounded Rice, Parboiled rice, Red Rice,  Brown rice, Ragi, Jowar, Bajra, Oats,  Yavva Ravva (Indian Oats), Bajra, Minor millets, Rajgira and Kuttu.

Foods made from Maida like Naan, Kulcha and Rumali Roti. Pizza, spring rolls, Mathris
Sugar ( Limit to 2 teaspoon/day)Cookies, Biscuits, Chocolates, Ice creams, Pastries,
Ragi drink and Rice KanjiSoft Drinks and Flavoured Yoghurts/milk

Healthy Tip :

  • You can add powdered wheat bran and oats to your regular Dosa and Idly batter, it can also be added in roti and paratha dough to increase the fiber content.
  • If you crave sweets, have fruit instead of deep-fried and high-calorie Indian sweets, Donuts, Ice creams, etc.
Indian diet for a heart patient 3

3. Limit unhealthy fats & cholesterol

Limiting saturated and trans fats is a crucial step in lowering blood cholesterol levels and prevent coronary artery diseases. Omega – 3 fatty acids rich food sources can improve heart health by reducing inflammation. PUFA and MUFA containing fats are considered healthy for the heart. They improve cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. Healthy Fats should be consumed in moderation for protecting and maintaining good heart health.

Indian Healthy Fats to be Included
for Healthy Heart
Indian Unhealthy Fats to be excluded for healthy heart
Skimmed Milk and Low fat CurdFull Cream Milk and their products like paneer and cheese
Fatty Fish. ( Twice – Thrice a week)Red Meat, Crabs and Prawns.
A combination of Cooking Oil – Sesame Oil,
Groundnut Oil, Mustard oil, Canola Oil,
Sunflower Oil, Rice Bran Oil, and Olive oil. Keep changing oil once in two months or every month.
Ghee ( in moderation)
Vanaspathi oil , Butter and Coconut Oil
Fenugreek/Methi seeds, Flax seeds, Sabja Seeds , Chia seeds, almonds and walnutsDeep Fried foods like Poori, Pappad, Vada, Chips, Pakoras, french fries etc

Always Remember:

  • Recommended Oil consumption for a person with Heart Disease is half a liter per month. This means only three teaspoons of oil per day. Keep changing the oil every month.
  • Strictly avoid Deep-fried foods till your blood reports come to normal.
  • Ghee can be taken with moderation. One teaspoon of ghee per day is safe to be consumed for heart patients. You can swap 1 teaspoon of oil with ghee.
Indian diet for a heart patient 5

4. Choose Low -Fat Protein Sources

Choosing the right protein is very important to maintain good heart health. Depending on too much on animal source for protein can raise saturated fats and cholesterol intake in the body. Following an Indian Vegetarian diet and consuming more plant-based protein foods is considered good for heart health. Do not worry, if you are a non – vegetarian, you can still manage good heart health by including healthy animal proteins and proper cooking techniques.

Proteins to be Included
for healthy heart
Proteins to be excluded
for healthy heart
Lean Meat, Poultry, Red Meat and Organ Meats.
Fish.Crabs and Prawns
Egg Whites  – 2 (daily) or 1 Whole Egg
( 2-3 times a week)
Peas, Beans like Chole, Rajma, etc, Lentils like Moong,
Toor, Masoor, etc, Soya bean.
High fat Paneer and curd
Nuts – Almonds, Boiled Peanuts, Walnuts 


seeds – pumpkin seeds,sesame seeds, melon seeds.

Full cream milk
Home made Panner and Curd with skimmed milk. 
Skimmed milk 

Always Remember :

  • Please include nuts and oil – seeds in moderation and unsalted.
  • Prepare the dishes in minimal oil.
  • To enhance the quality of food including healthy Indian cooking methods like steaming and roasting. If you deep fry or immerse in rich and oily gravy the nutrient value of the food comes down.
Indian diet for a heart patient 7

5. Reduce Sodium in your food

Too much sodium can raise your blood pressure, dehydrate your body, stiffen your arteries, and affect blood clotting. All these will slowly lead to heart disease. The total restriction on Sodium for Heart patients is 1600mg- 2300 mg. People think salt is the major source of sodium. But many vegetables, pulses, grains, and animal foods have sodium content in them

Sodium content in various foods per 100 grams.

< 25 mg25-50 mg50-100 mg>100 mg
Bitter gourd, Bottlegourd, Brinjal, Cabbage, 
Beans, Cucumbers, Ladies Finger, Peas, Ripened tomato, Radish, Sweet Potato,
Onions, Potatoes,pkins
Bengal Gram dhal , Carrots, Spinach,Cauliflower, KnolkholBeetroot, Coriander leavesEggs
Grapes, Pine apple, Oranges, Papaya, Mango, Water Melon, ApplesBuffalo MilkLiver meatBacon
Ragi, Wheat, Lentils.MuttonPrawnLobster
Green and Red gram dal ChickenBeef

Source : Longvah,T, Indian Food composition tables 2017, National Institute of Nutrition,Hyderabad.

Always Remember :

  • 3 grams/ day of Salt Intake is recommended for patients with Hypertension and Heart Disease.
  • People over-consume sodium from packaged, canned, and processed foods like Sauces, Namkeens, Pickles, Spreads, ready to eat foods, etc. Please avoid all such packaged products available in supermarkets.
Indian diet for a heart patient 8

6. Include Indian Superfoods

Include following Indian superfoods that can enhance your metabolic rate and help in the smooth functioning of the heart.



7. Control Portion Size

How much you eat is as important as what you eat. Overloading your plate, taking second servings, and stuffing yourself can lead to an increase in calorie intake, fat, and cholesterol. Eat mindfully and peacefully. This will automatically control your food portions.

Follow these seven steps strictly to see a postive change in your heart health.

Indian diet for a heart patient 9

Role of nutrients and foods in the prevention of heart diseases

     Food   Source

Chemical/Nutrient Involved

Prevention in heart disease

Fruits and Vegetables
  1. Vitamin E
  2. Vitamin C
  3. Carotenoids
  4. Selenium
  5. Flavanoids
Prevents the oxidation of Polyunsaturated fatty acids,Reduces LDL oxidation, Reduces thrombus formation, reduces damage caused by free radicals, antioxidant effects protect against heart disease.
BeansSoluble,fibre, magnesium, potassium,copper, folate.Reduces of Hypertension,


soluble fibre reduces cholesterol.

NutsMono Unsaturated fatty acids, magnesium, copper, ResveratrolReduces LDL without effecting HDL, omega 3 fatty acids and phytochemical protect heart health.
GarlicAllicin, diallyl, disulphide, allyl mercaptinreduces cholesterol and triglycerides, block cholesterol biosynthesis.
TeaPolyphenolsPrevent atherosclerotic plaque formation
OatsBeta GlucansHypocholesterolemic effect
DahiHydroxy methyl GlutarateReduces Cholesterol biosynthesis
TurmericcurcuminAnti-  lipidemic effect


Indian diet for a heart patient 9

Lifestyle Modifications for Healthy Heart

Along with Indian Diet Plan for Healthy Heart, certain lifestyle modifications should be adapted for good heart health.

  • Reduce the frequency of eating out. 99% of the food available out of home is high in salt, sugar, and fat content. If you have to dine out choose your food smartly.
  • Avoid eating while watching T.V.
  • Chew your food slowly as it helps in the absorption of nutrients present in the food.
  • Give an hour gap between meals and sleep.
  • Limit the Intake of coffees /teas to 2 cups.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol as it will alter your blood sugar levels and indirectly affect heart health. Please do not overindulge in Wine for boosting heart health, instead choose a healthy source of antioxidants from nuts, fruits, and vegetables to protect your heart.
  • Quit Gutkha.
  • Practice 1-hour physical activity like walking, Yoga, Swimming, or any sports every day.
  • Practice meditation to control stress.
  • Sleep for 7-8 hours every day without interruption.
  • Consult your cardiologist before making any change in your diet and take your medications regularly as prescribed by the physician.
  • Keep your body weight in a normal range.
  • Monitor your blood pressure regularly.

Last but not least, always consult with qualified nutritionist or dietitian for treating your heart issues naturally with diet.

Main Risk Factors for Heart Diseases

  1. Improper Diet:- High Saturated Fat, High – Cholesterol Diet, and High Sugar diet.
  2. Cigarette Smoking:- Carbon monoxide, Tar, and Nicotine present in Cigarettes prevent blood vessels to carry oxygen to the heart and other body parts. It also causes an increase in heart rate and blood pressure.
  3. Hypertension:- Prolonged high blood pressure result in heart cell damage and thickening of the arteries.
  4. Elevated Blood Cholesterol levels:- High Cholesterol levels often cause blockage in the arteries.
  5. Diabetes:- Diabetes enhances the risk of heart diseases. People with diabetes have metabolic alterations like insulin resistance, blood lipid abnormalities, hypertension, and obesity which in turn cause heart diseases.
  6. Age:- With age, cardiac muscles lose their strength and flexibility.
  7. Gender:- Men are more likely to get heart diseases compared to women. But, after menopause, even women are prone to high cholesterol levels and heart attacks if diet and lifestyle aren’t taken care of.
  8. Stress:- Stress will increase free radicals in our body, which cause inflammation in heart blood vessels and damage them.

If Heart complications are not rectified it can lead to Heart attacks, Fatigue, Strokes and eventually death.

Take Away Message

There is a rise in the number of deaths due to heart-related diseases in India every year. The most affected are the young generation of India (20-40 years). The main culprit behind Cardiovascular Disease is improper diet habits and Poor lifestyle. Follow the Indian diet plan for a healthy heart and boost your heart health naturally. Following seven simple steps can bring a positive change towards heart health – Including fruits and vegetables, Reduce Unhealthy fats, Include complex carbohydrates, Reduce sodium Intake, Choose the proper source of protein, Include superfoods for the heart, Control portion size. Bring certain lifestyle modifications for the smooth functioning of the heart for a lifetime. Consult a qualified nutritionist for a tailor-made diet plan for your heart issues. Protect your heart naturally and stay happily healthy for a lifetime!!

References (Retrived on 22/1/2021)


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Akhila holds a Post graduate diploma in clinical nutrition and dietetics from Apollo health education and research foundation. She is into this field since a year.She worked as an intern at Apollo hospitals, Hyderabad. She is trained in both inpatient and outpatient dietetics department. She did nutritional assessment, diet planning and clinical counselling for individuals with Hypothy-roid, Diabetic mellitus, Hypertension and kidney dysfunctions at outpatient department in Apollo. Akhila was into agricultural biotechnology but destiny had different plans and her strong passion towards nutrition and food sciences got her into clinical nutrition field. Having a strong background in biochemistry and human genetics she acquired a deep knowledge in the statistics specific to whole body macronutrient and micronutrient metabolism and its relation to metabolic diseas-es.Coming from agricultural background she did research on how organic foods are beneficial than conventionally grown counterparts in terms of nutrients such as antioxidants.She always motivates to encourage locally grown food for better health. She doesn’t encourage usage of supplements and crash diets. She believes the blend of traditional food wisdom and modern nutritional science is necessary for healthy body and mind. She em-phasises more on health gain than just loosing weight.This can only be possible by Sustainable diets.She is all happy in to help her clients who are ready to lead healthy, happy and nourishing life through Wellness munch!

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  • Megala , 27th January 2021 @ 9:27 am

    This article about Indian diet for healthy heart is very informative and helpful. Thank you very much wellness munch team. Thank you Akhila.

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