Heart Healthy Foods For Men Over 40: 14 Things Busy Fathers Need In Their Diets

Written by: Dr. Anthony Balduzzi,

Men's Health Doctor & Founder
The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Written by: Dr. Anthony Balduzzi,

Men's Health Doctor & Founder
The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

heart healthy foods
Eating heart-healthy foods and making healthy lifestyle choices is the best way to lower your heart disease risk and boost your life expectancy.

If you’re overweight, inactive, or have a family history of heart disease, you have a higher risk of developing heart problems in the future.

We know you're a busy dad, and you work hard. But, you need to be there for your family when they need you the most. And that means taking care of yourself.

You don't have to only eat dry lettuce and celery! Just make some smart, sustainable food choices. As a rule, choose:

  • Plant oils
  • Plant foods rich in dietary fat
  • Fish and fish oil
  • Fiber-rich fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes, nuts, and seeds
  • Whole grains

Get started today by including the 14 heart-healthy foods we lay out below in your daily meal plans!

Here are 5 key tips to improving your heart health, and how to get started today!

14 Heart-Healthy Foods For Men

1. Fish

Fish is loaded with protein, which boosts satiety and helps you shed unwanted weight and body fat. Maintaining a healthy weight significantly lowers your risk of developing high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. Protein also helps you maintain lean muscle mass.

Grilled SalmonAnother component of fish that protects against heart disease is omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in fattier fish, say researchers who conducted a review published in Current Treatment Options in Cardiovascular Medicine. The researchers suggest consuming at least two servings of fish weekly to reap heart-healthy benefits.

Fish rich in omega-3s include:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Tuna
  • Herring
  • Halibut
  • Trout
  • Whitefish
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies

You can also obtain DHA and EPA from fish oil supplements.

2. Seaweed

There are numerous reasons seaweed, also known as algae or microalgae, protects you against heart disease. Like fish, it’s a source of omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA. Seaweed is also a good source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants called polyphenols.

sea weed heart healthy foods for menA review published in Marine Drugs found that polyphenols found in marine plants, such as seaweed, improve heart-related conditions, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and other chronic disease risk factors.

The researchers say new medications made from marine plants may prove effective for heart disease and related conditions in the future.

Eat seaweed wrapped around sushi, on salads, in soups or casseroles, blended in protein smoothies, or as seaweed flakes with your favorite heart-healthy recipes. Vegan algae oil supplements are also a rich source of DHA and EPA.

3. Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are some of the best heart-healthy foods for men because these nutrient-dense seeds are loaded with fiber and omega-3 fat alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which your body converts to EPA and DHA.

A study published in BioMed Research International found that ALA protects against heart disease and stroke. One reason is the fiber in flax seeds is known to reduce blood cholesterol.

flax seed heart healthy foods for menAnother study, published in Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials, found that ingesting 30 grams of flax seed powder daily for 40 days reduces:

  • Body weight
  • Body mass index
  • Total cholesterol
  • LDL cholesterol
  • Triglycerides

Add flax seeds or flax seed powder to protein smoothies, soups, salads, oatmeal, casseroles, cottage cheese, or Greek yogurt.

4. Seitan

Seitan is a plant protein made from wheat gluten, and often used in place of red meat among vegan dieters. When eaten in place of red and processed meats, seitan helps protect against heart disease.

seitan heart healthy foods for menSeitan provides just over 20 grams of protein per serving but no cholesterol or saturated fat, which is why it’s a suitable replacement for red meat.

A study published in the journal Nutrients found that almost half of heart disease-related deaths might be prevented with proper nutrition, and plant-based diets lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cerebral vascular disease by about 30%, and coronary heart disease by 40%. The researchers say plant-based diets help reverse heart-related medical conditions and decrease blood pressure and cholesterol.

5. Legumes

Like soybeans, other foods in the legume family are the best heart-healthy foods for men due to their high protein and fiber content.

Legumes are one of the best fiber-rich foods you’ll find, and the soluble fiber in legumes can drastically reduce high cholesterol. In fact, studies show legumes help lower body weight, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.

Examples of heart-healthy legumes include:

  • Soybeans
  • Black beans
  • Kidney beans
  • Navy beans
  • Pinto beans
  • Lima beans
  • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • Green peas
  • Split peas
  • Lentils

The protein and fiber in legumes help you maintain a healthy weight by boosting satiety. A 1-cup portion of split peas provides about 16 grams of protein and 16 grams of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Add legumes to soups, salads, stir fry, and casseroles, just to name a few.

6. Walnuts

walnuts heart healthy foods for menA study published in Food & Nutrition Research found that regularly consuming walnuts is associated with lower cholesterol and a reduced risk of coronary heart disease.

A 1-ounce portion of walnuts provides about 18 grams of heart-healthy fat, 4 grams of protein, and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Add walnuts to just about any dish. Top cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, or cottage cheese with walnuts, eat walnuts as a between-meal snack, or blend walnuts into protein smoothies.

7. Pumpkin Seeds

Like walnuts, pumpkin seeds are loaded with heart-healthy fats, protein, and cholesterol-lowering fiber.

pumpkin seeds heart healthy foods for menThat’s why adding pumpkin seeds or other seeds to daily meal plans, especially when used in place of refined carbohydrates, added sugar, and saturated fat, lowers your risk of chronic diseases.

A 1-ounce portion of shelled pumpkin seeds provides 14 grams of heart-healthy fat, 8 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber. A review in Circulation found that regularly consuming seeds is associated with a lower risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and reduced cholesterol and blood pressure.

1 day meal plan

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8. Oats

Oats are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower blood cholesterol and your risk for heart disease.

oats heart healthy foods for menA review published in the journal Nutrients found that eating an extra 1-2 servings of whole grain cereal fiber, especially from oats, decreases your risk of heart disease by up to 20%.

You can add oats to daily menus in various ways. Eat oatmeal for breakfast topped with walnuts, add oats to protein smoothies or protein pancakes, or top Greek yogurt with oats.

9. Quinoa

Quinoa is one of the most nutritious superfoods because it’s a whole grain rich in high-quality protein, various vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

quinoa heart healthy foods for menA 1-cup portion of cooked quinoa provides 8 grams of complete protein, almost 4 grams of heart-healthy fats, and 5 grams of dietary fiber. The healthy fats in quinoa boost good HDL cholesterol, which protects you against heart disease.

It’s a versatile grain, so you can eat it with just about any meal or recipe. Quinoa works well as a side dish, in cold salads, blended into protein smoothies, and even in breakfast recipes!

10. Fruits

The reason fruit protects you against heart disease is because it's rich in fiber, including soluble fiber, and antioxidants. A review published in the journal Nutrients confirms that eating fruit lowers heart disease risks.

Especially these fruits:

fruit salad heart healthy foods for men

  • Grapes
  • Pomegranate
  • Blueberries
  • Apples
  • Hawthorn
  • Cherries
  • Black raspberries
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Mango
  • Papaya

While these fruits were specially mentioned in the review as protective against heart disease and its risk factors, all fruits are heart-healthy when combined with a healthy lifestyle and overall nutritious eating plan.

11. Vegetables

Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber, and are generally lower in calories than many other foods. That’s why eating plenty of veggies daily keeps your heart and blood vessels healthy.

veggies heart healthy foods for menA review published in Nutrients found that adults who ate 4-6 servings of vegetables daily were 32% less likely to suffer from a stroke, and those who ate more than 6 servings daily were almost 70% less likely to suffer from a stroke.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest consuming 5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily when eating 2,000 calories per day, and 6 cups when following a 2,500-calorie meal plan.

12. Plant Oils

Plant-based oils are some of the best heart-healthy foods for men, especially when used in place of saturated fats, trans fats, and added sugar. Plant oils are loaded with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, which protect your heart and boost satiety.

These fats also help your body absorb nutrients and maintain healthy-looking hair, skin, and nails.

Examples of nutritious plant oils to choose include:

oils heart healthy foods for men

  • Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Pumpkin seed oil
  • Walnut oil
  • Flax seed oil
  • Soybean oil

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend consuming  6-7 teaspoons of oils daily when following 2,000- to 2,500-calorie eating plans. Use plant oils for cooking and sautéing, in protein smoothies, or as salad dressings.

13. Avocados

Avocados are loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which significantly reduce your heart disease risk when used in place of saturated and trans fats.

avocado heart healthy foods for menA study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that regular avocado consumption is linked with increased heart-protective HDL (good) cholesterol.

Add avocados to omelets, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and just about any favorite breakfast, lunch, or dinner dish. Avocados make an excellent between-meal satiating snack as well.

14. Green Tea

Green tea is rich in antioxidants called catechins that protect you against heart disease.

green tea heart healthy foods for menA study published in the International Journal of Cardiology found that study subjects who consumed 1-3 (or more) cups of green tea daily had a lower risk of heart attack and stroke compared with people who drank less than 1 cup per day.

Try adding green tea powder to protein smoothies!

Meet SuperFuel. The Delicious Protein Shake Packed With 40+ Energy-Boosting Vitamins & Superfoods (Designed For Busy Men)

As a busy guy, it’s challenging to stay consistent with healthy eating. That’s why we created SuperFuel… the delicious “all-in-one” nutrition shake for busy guys 40+ to give your body the protein + key nutrients you need for more energy, fat burning, and muscle building.

Planning Heart Healthy Meals

When it’s time to plan healthy meals, use the heart-healthy foods we listed above as a guide. Be sure to include various different fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and oils daily. When you're ready to fill your plate at mealtimes, remember our Perfect Plate method:

  • 1/2 of each plate is fruits and vegetables
  • 1/4 of each plate is healthy proteins
  • 1/4 of each plate is fiber-rich starches

Other healthy lifestyle tips and tricks that lower your heart disease risk include:

  • Eat heart-healthy fats at each meal
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Work out regularly
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night
  • Avoid smoking and excess alcohol
  • Avoid added sugar and refined grains (like white bread)
  • Steer clear of fried foods
  • Limit or avoid red meat
  • Avoid processed meats

Losing weight and keeping it off long-term can be difficult on your own, which is why the Fit Father Project 30X (FF30X) is here to help! This weight loss plan designed for men over 40 has helped thousands of men shed pounds and achieve a desirable physique.

Give it a try today or sign up for a free 1-day meal plan or free fat-burning workout to get a feel for what the Fit Father Project is like!

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi, NMD
Men's Health Doctor & Founder
The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Founder Fit Father Project, Founder Fit Mother Project

After watching his own Dad lose his health and pass away at the young age of 42, Dr. Balduzzi founded The Fit Father Project and Fit Mother Project to help busy dads and moms get and stay healthy for their families.

Dr. Anthony Balduzzi holds dual degrees in Psychology & Nutrition from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine, and is also a former national champion bodybuilder. He’s is most proud of the fact that he’s helped over 40,000 families in over 100 countries lose weight and get healthy for life.

Here’s How Busy Fathers Over 40 Are Finally Burning Stubborn Belly Fat & Getting Healthy Without Restrictive Diets or Time-Consuming Workouts

This proven "Fit Father Program" has helped 38,000 busy men 40+ lose weight, rebuild muscle, and finally keep the weight off.

If you're frustrated with stubborn belly fat, failed diets, and time-consuming workouts, this is the answer you’ve been looking for…

Join 38,000 guys in over 108 countries that are using Fit Father Project to lose weight. You get everything you need to succeed – including:
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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on heart-healthy foods for men over 40.

Written by: Dr. Anthony Balduzzi,

Men's Health Doctor & Founder
The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Fit Father Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Father Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Father Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Father Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
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Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality. – The Fit Father Project Team


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