A heart healthy diet plan doesn’t require extreme measures, expensive ingredients or fancy gadgets.

In fact, you’ll find a heart healthy diet plan is actually less expensive than a fancy juice cleanse, and more accessible than a pricey gym membership. Read on, so we can show you how awesome a heart healthy diet plan can actually be.

1) Never Be Hungry Again

A heart healthy diet is more about balance than deprivation. You aren’t supposed to cut out entire food groups unless you have some sort of allergy or intolerance.

Doctors say the best thing you can do for your heart is eat a well-rounded, balanced diet that involves the WHOLE food pyramid. Take note, though.

Portions are key, and the dessert/junk food section of the food pyramid is the smallest for a reason. But following a heart healthy diet plan doesn’t mean you have to starve yourself. In fact, with the fiber, healthy foods you do eat, you should feel fully satisfied.

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2) Eat More Fat!

You read that right. When it comes to olive oil, coconut oil, vegetable oil, Omega-3 fatty acids, avocados, nuts, and other food containing polyunsaturated fats, doctors are encouraging healthy amounts daily, more than most people typically get.

While fats such as butter, animal fat found on pork and red meat, and other dairy fats is very unhealthy and can raise your cholesterol levels and harm your heart, polyunsaturated fats actually help rid your body of bad cholesterol and can help fight artery blockage while offering support for your heart.

3) Learn Something New

Heart healthy habits can open many doors to new experiences. You can learn to cook new foods, discover new favorite meals, and get a little more creative with your meal-planning.

You might also find a heart healthy lifestyle naturally lends itself to an organized lifestyle.

When you begin planning meals and grocery lists, you tend to organize other things in your life as well.

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4) Save Money

Have you ever wondered where all your money goes even after you’ve paid the bills? Consider this: your diet takes a bite out of your bank account almost as big as the bite you just took from that bacon burger.

A taco here, a sugary latte there, or a soda from the gas station, not to mention the medicine your doctor may have you on—they all add up.

When you commit to a heart healthy diet plan, you can also end up saving quite a bit of money. Why?

Because when you cut back on sugar, soda, and caffeine, you’re cutting back on unhealthy habits that take away from your health and your bank account.

On top of this, when you buy fresh, healthy ingredients and begin preparing your own meals, eating out stops being the norm.

Instead of taking away from your health and your wallet, you’re adding to your lifestyle bank account by saving money and working towards a longer, healthier life.

5) The Sweets Become Sweeter

When you are cutting back on sugar—whether it’s cookies, ice cream, or soda—not having it every day can be hard at first.

However, when you DO allow yourself to have a treat, that treat takes on a whole new meaning. Chances are, since you don’t get to have that treat all the time, it becomes much more enjoyable during the times you do partake.

And eating a heart healthy diet doesn’t mean you always have to skip your favorite treat so there will be time for enjoying the foods you love.

6) Wine And Chocolate Become Quite Important

We’re not telling you to go eat your weight in chocolate and guzzle red wine.

However, dark chocolate and red wine have been found to contain powerful antioxidants that help rid the body of damaging free radicals that contribute to deteriorating heart health.

So, enjoy one glass (5 ounces) of red wine and a couple bites of dark chocolate each day. Who knew being heart healthy could be so enjoyable?

7) Feeling Accomplished

There’s something about taking charge that leaves you feeling confident and accomplished.

Knowing your efforts today will result in a healthier and happier body tomorrow is a powerful feeling, and it’s a feeling that you are in complete control of. Taking control of your heart health puts you on the path to a longer, happier life and will make a huge difference in not just your physical health, but your mental health as well.