One of the biggest hurdles you may be dealing with following your heart condition diagnosis is determining how to modify your lifestyle to optimize heart health. One of the largest factors you have to take into account is how you can alter your diet.

While there are several well-known ways to go about this (reducing trans fat intake, eating heart-healthy portions, and staying away from empty calories or high-sodium foods), there are many simple steps you can take in your own kitchen to make your diet more heart healthy. Take a look at these common substitutes for ingredients in your favorite recipes that could help reduce the negative impact your diet has on your heart.


Some people swear by this condiment’s taste, while others can't stand to have it on their sandwiches or in their potato salad. Given its high fat content, though, you'll want to reduce its presence in your diet.

You can replace it with light or low-fat mayonnaise alternatives, but, as Healthline notes, the lower the fat content, the sweeter the mayonnaise will be. Try blending low-fat mayonnaise with a little hot sauce or peppers to bring out a more traditional flavor. In some recipes, you can swap out mayonnaise for healthier alternatives like low-fat, plain yogurt or mashed avocado. Alternatives will still give you the creamy texture of mayo without the unhealthy fat.

Whole milk

Many of your favorite recipes undoubtedly call for whole milk in order to bring out a full-bodied flavor. Still, it has a higher fat content and isn't the best thing to be taking in when considering your heart health.

Reduce the negative effects of whole milk by replacing it in your recipes with a mixture of one cup of fat-free or skim milk and a teaspoon of vegetable oil. The American Heart Association recommends duplicating this measurement for each cup of whole milk called for in a recipe.


Everyone loves butter. Still, because of its saturated fat, cutting down on your intake of this often-called-for ingredient is a strong step toward making your diet healthier for your heart. Using any fruit puree, such as applesauce, and mixing it with canola oil can serve as a wonderful substitute that will offer a fruity and creamy alternative in your cooking or baking.

White flour

Almond flour can be used to dilute traditional baking flour or whole-wheat flour. It mixes in well with these ingredients to create a host of heart-health benefits. Greatist reports that mixing ¾ cup wheat flour with ¼ cup almond flour will create a mixture that contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids as well as a decent amount of protein. This is particularly useful when baking, as this mixture can infuse a rich, wholesome, and nutty flavor into your culinary creations. Try it next time you decide to make banana bread, a cake, a pie, or whatever else you're whipping up!