Dietary fats give your body energy and support cell growth, helping to protect your organs, keep your body warm and help your body absorb nutrients. There are four major dietary fats in food: saturated fats, trans fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. While eating too much fat can contribute to high cholesterol levels and being overweight or obese, moderate intake of healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat can part of a healthy diet.

fats and oils

The American Heart Association recommends eating 25-35 percent of your total daily calories as fats, limiting the amount of saturated fats you eat to less than 7 percent. Use vegetable oils and margarines with liquid vegetable oil as the first listed ingredient. Examples are canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, soybean and sunflower oils. When using soft spreads, choose those low in saturated fats and trans fats. Try reduced-fat and no-fat salad dressings and mayonnaise. And pick oily fish (such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout), avocados, peanut butter, and many nuts and seeds.


A fellow is a licensed physician who's completed medical school and specialty training and is undergoing subspecialty training.


Dietary fiber describes several materials that make up the parts of plants your body can't digest. When eaten regularly as part of a diet low in saturated fat, trans fats and cholesterol, soluble fiber can help decrease your risk of heart disease. Whole grains and fruits and vegetables include dietary fiber, while most refined (processed) grains contain little fiber.


Fibrillation refers to fast, uncoordinated contractions of individual heart muscle fibers. When fibrillation occurs, the heart chamber involved can't contract all at once and pumps blood ineffectively, if at all.


Fish is a good source of protein and, unlike fatty meat products, is not high in saturated fat. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly oily fish) at least two times a week. Fish can be an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that your body doesn’t make but needs to function properly. A serving is 3.5 ounce cooked, or about ¾ cup of flaked fish. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids.

fish oil

Fish oil is produced in the tissues of oily fish.  It's an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential fats that your body doesn't make but needs to function properly. People with heart disease are advised to consume about 1 gram per day of the fish oils EPA and DHA  (eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids), preferably from oily fish. You may want to talk to your healthcare provider about supplements.    

folic acid and cardiovascular disease

Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that helps break down an amino acid in the blood called homocysteine – which in excess is related to a higher risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease, also called peripheral artery disease or PAD. The American Heart Association does not recommend widespread use of B vitamin supplements to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Instead, a healthy, balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy products is advised. For folic acid, the recommended daily value is 400 micrograms. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, vegetables and grain products are good sources.

fruits and vegetables

Vegetables and fruits are an important part of a healthy eating plan. They are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of vegetables and fruits may help you control your weight and blood pressure. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. An average adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables a day.

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