10 Heart-Healthy Rules to Live By

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Choose whole grains over refined grains

Anything in whole-grain "kernel" form, including whole-wheat flour, brown rice, and oatmeal, is a heart-healthier choice than refined products such as white bread or white rice, notes Artinian. "If you don’t have the whole grain, you’re just left with the starch inside that kernel, and not the fiber and other nutrients that lower your cholesterol," she says.

The fiber in whole grains will also keep you feeling more full, helping reduce the number of calories you eat—also a good thing for the heart.

Next: Eat oily fish