For the first time since 2006, the dietary guidelines for better heart health have been updated. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), poor diet quality is linked to an elevated risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality. Here are the main points from the guidelines published in the journal Circulation. Adjust your energy intake and expenditure to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. Include plenty and a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet and whole-grain foods and products. Choose healthy sources of protein. Opt for mostly plant-based protein, fish, seafood, low-fat or fat-free dairy products. If you wish to consume meat or poultry, choosing lean cuts and unprocessed meat is recommended. Use liquid plant oils over tropical and partially hydrogenated fats. Pick minimally processed foods over ultra-processed ones. Minimise the intake of beverages and foods with added sugars. Prepare food with little or no salt. Limit alcohol intake and if possible, stay away from it altogether.5 things to keep in mind when preparing food at home or ordering it online1. Check the manufacturing date to make sure the food has not expired.2. Look at the amount of sodium or added sugar in the processed food that youre planning to consume.3. If you cant figure out whats in a menu item, dont hesitate to call the restaurant and check.4. To stick to the safe side, you can always opt for nuts, legumes, broth-based soups, guacamole, cooked, steamed or boiled vegetables or skinless chicken and seafood.5. Instead of salt and dressings, consider adding spices and herbs to your meals.