No effort has been spared in making these cardiac diet recipes for healthy living. We have compiled an invaluable directory of health and nutrition aimed not only at those who have been advised to eat a cardiac diet but also the increased number of people who are concerned about the nutritious value of various foods.

Good health has not proved to be dependent upon the availability of an abundance of foods. Many factors are at stake in determining our choice of diet, even if adequate foods are available and financial resources allow for their purchase. Despite the fact that more is known and written about nutrition today than ever before, the general level of nutritional awareness is low and is not particularly influential in determining diet.

Most foods are complex mixtures of many nutrients that are essential for the body’s function. Based on the nutrients they contribute to the diet, foods can be divided into four basic groups: meats, fruit and vegetables, milk, and enriched breads and cereals.

Meals are valued for their protein content and contribute iron and B vitamins to the diet. Fruits and vegetables are reliable sources of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins A and C. The milk group provides protein, riboflavin, vitamin D and calcium. The enriched break and cereal group is important for its protein, iron, B vitamins and energy content.

Cardiac diet is an important factor for a healthy heart. A good rule-of-thumb is to choose products which have been processed as little as possible; for example, brown rice, and wholewheat flour. It can be difficult to change your diet suddenly, whether the decision stems from an increased awareness of the importance of a good diet, or whether your doctor has informed you that your cholesterol level is too high and that your should therefore change your eating habits.

Here are 6 heart-healthy recipes for your cardiac diet.

1. Swedish Winter Salad

  • 200 g (7 oz) red cabbage
  • 100 g (3½ oz) cauliflower
  • 1 apple
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1 small leek
  • 3 tbsp raisins
  • Dressing
    • 1½ tbsp polyunsaturated oil
    • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
    • 2 tbsp low-fat yogurt
    • salt
    • ½ tsp French mustard (Dijon)

Shred the cabbage and break the cauliflower into florets. Chop the apple and slice the celery and leek. Add the raisins. Place everything in a large bowl, pour on the dressing and toss. This is a good nutritious salad which goes well with most meat and fish dishes.

2. Hummus

  • 85 g (3 oz) chick peas
  • 3½fl oz water from boiling chick peas
  • 4 tbsp polyunsaturated oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt

Soak the chick peas over night. Drain and add fresh cold water. Boil the peas in a covered pan for about 45 minutes, strain and cool. Bring the peas to a puree in a mincer or blender. Add the water from boiling the chick peas, the oil and crushed garlic. Salt to taste, and mix well. This recipe gives about 8 fl oz of hummus.

Place a spoonful of hummus on a lettuce leaf, garnish with a slice of cucumber and serve as a first course or use as a sandwich spread. It can also be used to round off a plate of grated vegetables.

3. Exotic Lentil, Curry

  • 1 – 2 onions
  • 1 small carrot
  • polyunsaturated oil
  • 3 – 4 tsp curry powder
  • 1 pint 3 fl oz water
  • 170 g (6 oz) red lentils
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 potato
  • 454 g (1 lb) mushrooms
  • 1 small leek
  • 1 banana 2
  • apples
  • ½ tsp ginger

Peel and chop t he onions, slice the carrot. Fry the onion and carrot together lightly in a little oil. Sprinkle the curry powder over the vegetables in the frying pan and stir together for a minute or two. Place in a saucepan, add the water, lentils and soy sauce. Peel and dice the potato and add to the pan. Boil for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the lentils are cooking, slice the mushrooms, leek and banana, and dice the apple. Sprinkle the apple with ginger and fry everything lightly in a little oil. Add to the pan for the last ten minutes of cooking time.

Serve with brown rice, bread and a salad.

4. Chicken with Asparagus and Pimento

  • 1 boiling chicken
  • 2 onions
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 – 2 sprigs parsley
  • 10 peppercorns
  • 2 tsp salt
  • Sauce
    • 1 tbsp high-polyunsaturated margarine
    • 2 tbsp flour
    • ½ pint chicken stock
    • 2 fl oz skimmed milk
    • 300 g (10½ oz) can asparagus
    • 3 whole canned pimentos

Remove all visible fat from the chicken and place it in a saucepan. Pour over sufficient water to cover, bring to the boil and skim. Peel the onions and inset the cloves. Scrub the carrot and cut into thin slices. Add the vegetables, bay leaf, parsley sprigs, peppercorns and salt to the chicken, and boil for about two hours or until the chicken is tender. Lift the chicken from the stock/let the stock cool, and skim as much fat from the surface as possible.

Remove the skin and bones from the chicken and dice the flesh. Take one pint of the stock and boil it down to ½ pint to concentrate the flavor.

Melt the margarine, stir in the flour and cook gently for a minute or two. Stir in the chicken stock, skimmed milk and water from asparagus. Allow to simmer for a few minutes. Cut the pimentos into thin strips and stir into the sauce together with the asparagus and the chicken meat, and bring to the boil. Serve immediately with boiled rice.

5. American Tagliatelle

  • 454 g (1 lb) minced beef
  • 1 onion
  • high-polyunsaturated margarine
  • tagliatelle
  • 140 g (5 oz) can concentrated tomato puree
  • 5½ fl oz water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • a few drops Tabasco sauce
  • 2 x 226 g (8 oz) packets frozen broccoli
  • 1 portion white sauce
  • ground nutmeg
  • 326 g (1½ oz) can sweet corn

Buy lean beef. Trim away any fat and pass through a mincer. Peel and chop the onion and fry it together with the minced beef in a little margarine. Put it aside. Use less tagliatelle than normal for four people and boil it until almost cooked.

Mix together the tomato puree, water, pressed garlic, oregano, chili, powder and Tabasco to make a tomato sauce. Cook the broccoli according to the instructions on the packet.

Make one portion of white sauce, seasoned with nutmeg, using 2 tbsp high-polyunsaturated margarine, 5 tbsp flour, about 17 fl oz skimmed milk, and salt and pepper to taste. The sauce should be made in the usual way.

Drain the pasta well and place it in the bottom of a greased casserole. Next make a layer of the meat and onion and pour the tomato sauce over this. Then make a layer of sweet corn and top it with the broccoli. Pour the white sauce over the broccoli. Put the casserole in a very hot oven, 250 deg C or 475 deg F, for about 30 minutes or until the white sauce has an attractive color.

6. Whole-wheat Bread

  • 56 g (2 oz) yeast
  • 1 pint 6 fl oz water at room temperature
  • 284 g (10 oz) whole-wheat flour
  • 18 oz plain white flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tbsp melted high-polyunsaturated margarine

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the whole-wheat flour. This should result in a thick batter. Leave to stand for about an hour to give the yeast a chance to ferment. Stir down with a spoon and add the white flour, salt and melted margarine. Knead lightly on a floured board, shaped into two loaves and place in pans.

Allow to rise for about an hour and bake in a moderate oven, 200 deg C or 375 deg F, for about 30 minutes. This bread is suitable for freezing.


The cardiac diet recipes are designed to reduce the total amount of fat in the diet. Then the amount of saturated fats, balanced with polyunsaturated fats; thirdly, the amount of dietary cholesterol; and finally the consumption of sugar.