Today, women as well as men are susceptible to heart disease. The scary thing is that many teenagers and even children are obese and subject to developing heart problems. The main guilty party is a diet overloaded with convenient fast foods, sugary, and starchy junk foods combined with a sedentary lifestyle.A Heart Smart Diet first and foremost seeks to significantly reduce, if not totally eliminate the saturated and trans fats from everyday diet. More at autokrediet. The second objective, which is like two peas in a pod, is lowering cholesterol. The Mayo Clinic recommends having no more than 300 grams of cholesterol daily (200g if you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol), and reducing your saturated fat intake to less than 7% of your daily diet. Any trans fat should be less than 1% of your diet. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are allowed. They can be found in olive oil, avocados, flax oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, and nuts and seeds. These oils should be used on a daily basis because they are rich in essential fatty acids (Healthy fats), especially virgin olive oil. As much as possible, eliminate the use of shortening, butter and lard in cooking. Use Smart Balance margarine and mayonnaise or other heart-healthier margarine and mayo substitutes. Creamed soups, dressings, gravies and coffee creamers are also things to avoid. Unfortunately, so is chocolate.A Heart Smart Diet also includes white chicken, turkey and legumes (beans), or fresh fish only, however, lean red meats must not be consumed more than once a week. Always boil, bake or grill meats and fish, never fry them. Shell fish such as shrimp, crab and lobster should be only eaten occasionally and never breaded or fried. Pork sausage, bacon and ham should be avoided. One good alternative to significantly reduce your cholesterol is to substitute meat for soy protein. There are excellent soy products out there that mimic sausage, chicken and hamburger, but be careful. They are often high in salt content, which is another thing to limit on the heart smart diet plan.Why limit salt? Salt encourages the body to retain water and can raise the blood pressure. Often, people with high blood pressure are more prone to have heart disease. The two go hand in hand. Limiting your salt intake is like a double insurance policy. Be very watchful of the amount of salt hidden in frozen and packaged foods, even the so called weight-conscious dinners. Trade canned for fresh whenever possible. Limit the cheese, and if you must have it, have lower fat white cheeses instead of cheddar or American cheese. Cheese is saltier than you think. Use salt substitutes and herbs or pepper to flavor your dishes. If eating out, tell them you are on a salt free diet. Most restaurants can now accommodate that request.What about garlic? Garlic is a natural cholesterol lowering herb. There are garlic supplements you can take now that is released in the intestinal tract so your breath and taste buds do not seem garlicky.Include natural black honey in your daily diet and avoid late night snacking. Eat fresh or freshly frozen fruits and vegetables, experts suggest that you keep slices and bite sizes handy in the fridge for quick snacking instead of cookies, crackers and chips. Have a bowl of grapes and bananas, apples and peaches out on the table. Good raw veggie snacks include carrots, celery and broccoli. Super charge your health by consuming soluble fibers found in fruits, vegetables and oatmeal with healthy microbes found in fermented dairy products such as low fat yogurt and butter milk. It's highly recommended including Acai Berry, Pomegranate juice and Cranberry in your diet. (ingest them as fresh fruits or can be replaced by supplements if they're difficult to find in your local store). Visit this link for details.