Heart-healthy nutrition: Successful tips from four countries

The best nutrition tips from around the world

Our diet has a significant impact on heart health. Nutritional concepts such as the Mediterranean diet or the DASH diet have been shown to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. A nutrition expert presents heart-healthy foods and nutritional concepts from four different countries.

Healthy fats and plant foods are the basis of a heart-healthy diet. Kathleen Johnson is a dietician at the renowned Johns Hopkins University. The nutrition expert reveals some international nutrition tips that go well with a healthy nutrition concept.

It's all in the mix!

Instead of relying on individual foods, according to the nutritionist, it makes a lot more sense to have an overall concept that combines many different healthy foods. Not only does this make nutrition more varied, varied and interesting, it can even extend life if you follow the principles, Johnson said.

Hearty from Mexico

In Mexican cuisine, tortilla is a staple and often replaces bread. According to Johnson, corn tortillas are high in minerals and fiber. They are a good choice for people who want to lower their fat and sodium intake. The tortillas can be filled with fish, chicken, vegetables and black beans, for example. The black beans are also a great source of protein.

The whole thing is flavored with guacamole, a paste made from avocado. As Johnson reports, guacamole not only contains healthy fats, but a surprising amount of antioxidants. All in all, the result is a heart-healthy and at the same time hearty dish.

Indian ideas

The Indian diet offers vegetarians a versatile source of inspiration. For example, many dishes are flavored with turmeric and garam masala. These spices already have an anti-inflammatory effect, Johnson said. In addition, Indian dishes often contain legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and kidney beans, all of which are ideal for a heart-healthy diet.

Japanese delicacies

Japanese fish dishes like sushi are an excellent source of important omega-3 fatty acids. The often served rice also provides heart-healthy fiber. According to Johnson, brown rice is even better than white rice. However, the nutritionist points out that Japanese dishes often contain sauces that are not necessarily healthy when consumed in large quantities. "Ask if you can get the sauce served in a separate container," Johnson said for a Japanese restaurant visit.

African style stew

In Ethiopia, Morocco and North Africa, vegetable stews that are prepared in a tagine are widespread. Taginen are stewed pots made of clay - similar to a Roman pot. The principle works like an antique pressure cooker system, in which the food is prepared very gently. No additional fat is required. The liquid in the dishes comes from the added vegetables such as tomatoes, onions or the addition of some water or vegetable stock. Often a flat pita bread made of teff flour is served, which can help Johnson to manage blood sugar. (vb)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Graduate editor (FH) Volker Blasek


  • John Hopkins University: A Heart-Healthy Eating Adventure (accessed: December 3, 2019),

Video: Kate Patton, RD. Heart Healthy Eating (January 2022).