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Heart Healthy Eating Style:
The Omni Heart Diet
Cindy Sass, RD, CDE
Registered Dietitian
Carleton University Healthy Workplace
Tuesday February 11, 2014
Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) in
 Has been in decline
 Since 1952 the rate has
declined by more than
 Largely due to research,
advances in surgical
procedures, drugs and
prevention efforts.
 But still...
 Heart attack and stroke are
2 of the 3 leading causes of
death in Canada.
 Account for ~29 % of all
deaths in Canada.
Risk Factors for Heart Disease and
Risk Factors
 Smoking
 Alcohol consumption
 Physical inactivity
 Obesity
 High blood pressure
 High blood cholesterol
 Diabetes
Healthy Diets can lower the risk of CVD
What does a healthy diet
look like?
 Despite all of the diet
books, food guides and
expert advice, most people
are still confused!
 Gluten free, Paleo, low
carb, no carb, low fat,
Heart Healthy Eating
 Omni Heart Study
 O- optimal
 M- macro
 N- nutrient
 I- intake
 For heart health
Omni Heart Study diet
 Compared the effects of 3
heart healthy diet
 Based on variations of the
DASH diet which is a
vegetable and fruit rich
Each of the 3 diets was higher in one
of the following:
 Carbohydrates - mostly from foods, containing a total of 5
tsp. of sugar a day.
 Protein – more than half from beans, nuts, seeds, tofu and
other non – animal sources.
 Unsaturated fats - mostly from Canola and Olive oil.
The diets were remarkably effective!
 Lowered blood pressure:
 By 13 to 16 points in
people with hypertension,
 8 points in people with
 “The diets lowered blood
pressure more than most
Blood Pressure drugs.
The diets were remarkably effective!
 Lowered LDL (bad)
 Lowered damaging
 Reduced the risk of heart
disease and stroke over 10
years by 20-30%.
What made the Omni heart diet so
 Low levels of sodium?
 High levels of potassium?
 Low levels of saturated
 High levels of
and trans fats?
 Low levels of added
 High levels of calcium?
 High levels of fibre?
And the winner is....
 There was a tie between
the omni heart diets higher
in protein and saturated
 Both were a little better at
reducing heart disease risk
than the higher
carbohydrate diet.
A Day’s Worth of Food
The Omni Heart Diet
2000 calories
Vegetables and fruit
11 servings per day
 A main dish (4 cup) salad
 What is a serving – ½ cup
raw, cooked vegetables
1 cup salad greens
1 piece fruit
½ cup fresh fruit
¼ cup dried fruit
for lunch is 4 servings.
 2 cups of stir fried veggies
for supper is another 4
 Add 3 pieces of fruit, one
for breakfast and 2 others
for snacks and you’ve got
11 servings.
4 servings per day:
 What is a serving:
 ½ cup cereal with
 1 slice of bread
 ½ cup cereal
 ½ cup cooked pasta or rice
2 slices of bread with lunch
½ cup rice or pasta with
This adds up to 4 servings
Choose whole grains
whenever possible
Low – Fat Dairy
2 servings per day
 A serving is:
 ½ cup of milk with cereal
 1 cup skim or 1% milk,
 1.5 oz (40 grams) cheese,
 1 cup yogurt
for breakfast
 6 oz. yogurt for lunch or a
 1 oz cheese for salad or
Legumes and Nuts
2 servings per day
 What is 1 serving:
 You can have ½ cup of
 ¼ cup of nuts
 ½ cup cooked beans
 120 grams tofu
beans on salad or with
dinner and ¼ cup of nuts
on cereal, salad, grains or
as a snack.
 That comes to 2 servings.
Poultry, Fish and Meat
1 serving per day
 What is a serving:
 Start with 6 oz of raw
 ¼ lb cooked or 120
grams cooked or 4
poultry, fish or meat to get
4 ounces cooked.
 That is about the size of a
deck of cards.
Desserts and Sweets
2 servings per day
 What is a serving:
 1 small cookie
 1 tsp. of sugar
 Count each oreo sized
cookie as about 1 tsp of
 Many breakfast cereal have
1-2 tsp of sugar
 Note: a 175 ml fruit
yogurt or ½ cup of ice
cream has 4-5 tsp of sugar.
Oils and Fats
2 servings per day
 What is a serving?
 1 Tbsp. of oil
 1 Tbsp. of margarine or
 Use 1 Tbsp. to saute
vegetables and 1 Tbsp. in
your salad dressing (2 Tbsp.
of dressing usually contain
1 Tbsp. of oil)
Wild Card
1 Serving per day
 1 more serving of poultry
 About 120 calories’ worth
fish meat, oils and fats,
grains, or desserts and
of any category previous.
The tricky part..
 The tricky part is summing
up a entire diet in simple,
easy to remember advice
 You probably won’t follow
this diet every single meal
 Think of it as an ideal.
Rules of the Road
 Make vegetables a main
 Fill at least half of your
plate at lunch and dinner.
 Have fruit for snacks or
with breakfast and lunch.
 Make vegetables part of
your main dish like stir fry,
vegetable curry, vegetable
Keep saturated fat and cholesterol low
 This means just a small portion of poultry, fish, lean meat per
 Use more beans, tofu.
 Use eggs and low fat cheese sparingly.
 Egg whites are ok.
Don’t overdo grains
 Limited to 4 servings a day if
you are shooting for 2000
calories, 3 if you are shooting
for 1600.
 A serving is a thin slice of
bread, not a 4 oz. Bagel.
 ½ cup cooked is not much, it’s
the volume of 2 golf balls.
Minimize added sugar
 A 2000 calorie diet allows
for 2 tsp. (8 grams) of
added sugar a day.
 There’s no room for more
empty calories.
Keep a lid on sodium
 Avoid high sodium
processed foods like:
 Deli meats
 Canned soups
 Heat and serve entrees
 Chips, snack foods
Eat Beans and Nuts
 In the Omni heart study
people reported feeling
more full when they ate a
diet rich in beans and nuts.
 Add beans to soups, stews,
casseroles, stir fries.
 Have ¼ cup nuts on your
cereal, as a snack.
 Don’t over do nuts, their
calories can add up quickly.
Eat Real Food Not Junk!
 Notice what is missing in this
Sweets, cookies, cakes
Big bowls of pasta
Big bagels, muffins
Most pizzas, wraps, burritos,
Panini sandwiches are too big
 Gone are granola bars,
energy bars, pita chips and
junk disguised as health foods
 Think of them as an
occasional splurge!
In Conclusion
 You probably won’t follow
this diet every single meal
 Think of it as an ideal
 Take parts of this diet,
what seems easiest to you
and start making changes
 Change is a process
accomplished over time.

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