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Heart Health

Use Nutrition Facts Labels to Choose Heart-Healthy Foods

Whether or not you have a family history of heart disease, it is a good idea to follow a heart-healthy diet.  Heart disease is the nation's No. 1 killer. 


Nutrition facts labelLook for These on the Nutrition Facts Label.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers the following advice  about using the Nutrition Facts label to choose heart-healthy foods:  

Fiber may help lower your risk of heart disease.


Know What “Daily Value” Means.

When using the Nutrition Facts label, look for the nutrient's "% Daily Value."  The general rule is:

There is no Daily Value for trans fats, so take a look at the total amount of trans fat on the label.   The idea is just to keep trans fats as low as possible in your diet.

Be mindful of serving sizes. If you are eating two servings, do not forget to double the percentages!


Recognize Official Heart-Healthy Claims.

You can also look on food labels for official health claims about heart health.  These claims have passed muster with the FDA because science has shown that the nutrients mentioned reduced the risk of heart disease.  Official heart-healthy claims include:


Consider These Guidelines.

Additional ways for choosing and preparing foods aimed at a healthy heart include:


Points to Remember


Hope Through Research - You Can Be Part of the Answer!

Many research studies are underway to help us learn about heart disease. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:




This article originally appeared in Chow Line, a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.



For more information:

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Last Reviewed: Aug 07, 2014

Assistant Professor
Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, & Wellness
OSU Extension
College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Science
The Ohio State University