A heart-healthy lifestyle is not about deprivation. It is about eating more—more fruits, more vegetables, more whole grains, and more unsaturated fats. When you focus on putting more of these nutrient-rich foods in your diet, there is naturally less room for the not-so-heart-friendly foods—those high in saturated fat and low in nutrients.
Healthy eating habits can help you reduce three of the major risk factors for heart attack:
So how does this translate into your grocery list and onto your dinner plate? To help you eat the heart healthy way, The American Heart Association has created some guidelines. By 2020, the association hopes to improve the heart health of Americans by 20%, and reduce death due to stroke and heart disease by 20%. Follow these dietary guidelines to improve and/or maintain your heart health:
Note: Recommendations based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet.
American Heart Association
US Department of Agriculture
Canadian Cardiovascular Society
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada
Dietary recommendations for cardiovascular disease prevention. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated August 26, 2013. Accessed October 17, 2013.
Greene CM, Fernandez ML.The role of nutrition in the prevention of coronary heart disease in women of the developed world. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2007;16(1):1-9.
Healthy diet goals. Nutrition Center. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Healthy-Diet-Goals_UCM_310436_SubHomePage.jsp. Accessed October 17, 2013.
6/5/2009 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us : Sinha R, Cross AJ, Graubard BI, Leitzmann MF, Schatzkin A. Meat intake and mortality: a prospective study of over half a million people. Arch Intern Med. 2009;169:562-571.
Last reviewed October 2013 by Michael Woods, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.