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Dietary Guidelines for Healthy Heart
What Foods to Eat for Optimum Heart Health
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What to Eat For Optimum Heart Health

Dietary Guidelines - Heart

For the best heart-healthy dietary guidelines, we draw your attention to the dietary advice offered by the leading US heart organization - the American Heart Association (AHA)

Healthy Heart Dietary Guidelines - American Heart Association

Summary of AHA Dietary Guidelines

To protect your heart, follow a healthy balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish and poultry, as well as low-fat dairy products.

To lose weight without regaining it, you should make lifestyle changes for the long term - this means regular exercise and a balanced diet.

The AHA web site is: www.aha.org/

Synopsis of AHA Dietary Guidelines - Eating Plan for Healthy Americans (Oct 2000)

Three major risk factors for heart attack are: - high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight. Heart disease and high blood pressure are also major risk factors for stroke. Healthy eating habits can help you reduce all three risk factors. Healthy eating habits should follow these dietary guidelines:

  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Choose 5 or more servings per day.
  • Eat a variety of grain products, including whole grains. Choose 6 or more servings per day.
  • Include fat-free and low-fat milk products, fish, legumes (beans), skinless poultry and lean meats.
  • Choose fats and oils with 2 grams or less saturated fat per tablespoon, such as liquid and tub margarines, canola oil and olive oil.
  • Balance the number of calories you eat with the number you use each day. (To find that number, multiply the number of pounds you weigh now by 15 calories. This represents the average number of calories used in one day if you're moderately active. If you get very little exercise, multiply your weight by 13 instead of 15. Less-active people burn fewer calories.)
  • Maintain a level of physical activity that keeps you fit and matches the number of calories you eat. Walk or do other activities for at least 30 minutes on most days. To lose weight, do enough activity to use up more calories than you eat every day.
  • Limit your intake of foods high in calories or low in nutrition, including foods like soft drinks and candy that have a lot of sugars.
  • Limit foods high in saturated fat, trans fat and/or cholesterol, such as full-fat milk products, fatty meats, tropical oils, partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and egg yolks. Instead choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol from the first four points above.
  • Eat less than 6 grams of salt (sodium chloride) per day (2,400 milligrams of sodium).
  • Have no more than one alcoholic drink per day if you're a woman and no more than two if you're a man. "One drink" means it has no more than 1/2 ounce of pure alcohol. Examples of one drink are 12 oz. of beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1-1/2 oz. of 80-proof spirits or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits.

AHA Dietary Guidelines - Conclusion

An eating plan such as this helps you maintain healthy eating patterns. Result? You should achieve a healthy body weight, a desirable blood cholesterol level and a normal blood pressure. As well as improving your heart health, these dietary guidelines may reduce your risk for other chronic health problems, including type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis (bone loss) and some forms of cancer.

Sources include:
American Heart Association - Web Site: www.aha.org/


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