Secret Messages Your Heart Is Trying to Tell You — Eat This Not That


Welcome to Eat This Not That, a guide to understanding the secret messages your heart is trying to tell you. We all know that what we eat can have a huge impact on our health, but sometimes it can be hard to know what to eat and what to avoid. This guide will help you decipher the messages your heart is sending you and make better food choices. We’ll look at the different types of foods that can help or harm your heart, and how to make healthier choices. We’ll also discuss how to read food labels and make sure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs. So let’s get started on the journey to a healthier heart!

Secret Messages Your Heart Is Trying to Tell You — Eat This Not That

Your heart is a powerful organ that can send you messages in many ways. From physical sensations to emotional cues, your heart can tell you a lot about what it needs and what it doesn’t. When it comes to food, your heart can be a great guide in helping you make healthier choices. Here are some secret messages your heart is trying to tell you about what to eat and what to avoid.

Eat This:

  • Fruits and vegetables: Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is one of the best things you can do for your heart. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that can help reduce inflammation and protect your heart from disease.
  • Whole grains: Whole grains are a great source of fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce your risk of heart disease. Choose whole grain breads, cereals, and pastas over refined grains.
  • Fish: Fish is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of heart disease. Aim to eat at least two servings of fish per week.
  • Nuts and seeds: Nuts and seeds are a great source of healthy fats, fiber, and protein. They can help reduce cholesterol levels and lower your risk of heart disease.

Not That:

  • Processed meats: Processed meats like bacon, sausage, and deli meats are high in saturated fat and sodium, which can increase your risk of heart disease. Avoid these foods as much as possible.
  • Refined grains: Refined grains like white bread, white rice, and white pasta are stripped of their fiber and other nutrients. Choose whole grains instead.
  • Sugary drinks: Sugary drinks like soda, energy drinks, and sweetened teas are high in calories and can increase your risk of heart disease. Stick to water or unsweetened tea instead.
  • Trans fats: Trans fats are found in processed foods like cookies, crackers, and fried foods. They can increase your risk of heart disease, so avoid them as much as possible.

By listening to the messages your heart is sending you, you can make healthier choices when it comes to food. Eating the right foods can help keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of heart disease.

Signs and symptoms of heart issues are not always what you’d expect—but if you feel something is ‘off’, never ignore it. “Most people know their bodies better than any doctor does. In general, if you constantly feel something isn’t ‘right’ or isn’t what you’re used to, that warrants medical attention,” says Parag Joshi, M.D., a cardiology fellow with the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease. Here are five symptoms of heart problems to be aware of, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.

Sad man sitting on a bed, girlfriend in the background.

Trouble achieving or maintaining an erection could be a symptom of heart disease and arterial damage. “A problem with your blood vessels in one area of the body is associated with blood vessel problems in another area,” says Dr. Joshi.


Unusually severe fatigue could be a sign of heart problems. “We’re not talking about global fatigue like you feel tired at the end of the day,” says interventional cardiologist Leslie Cho, MD. “We’re not talking about you needing to go take a nap at 5 o’clock. We’re talking about you were able to walk up a couple of flights of stairs—and now you can barely walk up one. Or you can’t walk upstairs without feeling severe fatigue.” 

Sick woman coughing, experiencing hiccup.

A choking sensation could be a symptom of angina, doctors say. “The word ‘angina’ actually means ‘choking’, and sometimes the tightness or pain can be up in the throat. People tend to describe a ‘restricting’ or ‘choking’ sensation,” says Professor David Newby, Chair of Cardiology at The University of Edinburgh.

man dealing with chest pain, heart disease

Heart attack-related chest pain is not always obvious, experts say. “We need to dig deeper into the symptoms of chest pain for both men and women as it relates to heart attacks,” says Dr. Cho. “It is seldom as dramatic as you might think, and it can feel like pressure or heartburn that comes on over time.”

older woman with leg pain
Shutterstock / AstroStar

“This shouldn’t be ignored, especially if the ankles get really big, as it can be a marker of heart failure, but it is also very common and has lots of other causes,” says Professor Newby. “It could just as easily be from tablets you are taking – for example, blood pressure medication can lead to swollen ankles.” And to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Ferozan Mast

Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more