Fitting Dairy Foods Into the Best Heart Health Diet
Lower your risk of heart disease and boost heart health by eating the right dairy foods as part of the Pan-Asian Mediterranean diet
Dairy products are one of the more confusing parts of a diet when you’re eating for heart health. On one hand, dairy foods appear to be detrimental because of their high levels of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. But on the other hand, they contain health-promoting calcium, protein, and vitamins B12 and D, which all support a healthy heart.
The people of the Mediterranean (learn why this population is important) have not cut dairy out of their lives, and still they achieve optimum heart health. With that in mind, let’s take a look at dairy’s place in the Pan-Asian Mediterranean (PAM) diet that I recommend for a healthy heart.
How Much Should I Eat?
I recommend that you aim for up to two servings of dairy daily and only organic products. One serving of dairy is equal to:
- 1 cup non- or low-fat milk
- 8 ounces low-fat yogurt or cottage cheese
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 ounce feta or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 ½ ounces low-fat cheese
- 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, Romano, or Pecorino cheese
Note: Serving guidelines are based on a 1,800 to 2,000 calories-per-day eating plan. If your goal is weight reduction, consume smaller portions in order to lower your caloric intake.
More Dr. Sinatra Advice on Eating for Heart Health
How do whole grains fit into the heart-healthy PAM eating plan? Find out the important role that whole grains, nuts, and seeds play in the PAM diet for optimal heart health.
Can meat be part of a heart-healthy diet? Learn how the PAM diet includes a wide variety of meat options yet still promotes a healthy heart.
Want more specifics on the PAM diet for optimal heart health? Get all the details on the heart-healthy PAM eating plan.
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Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
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