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What is the best diet to stay healthy and prevent heart disease?

Answer:

Follow the latest guidelines! Both the federal government and the American Heart Association (AHA) have set forth updated guidelines to help you understand nutrition, plan a healthy diet, and achieve a healthy weight. Healthy eating helps prevent heart disease.

The US Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services just released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They focus on

  • balancing calories with physical activity,
  • encouraging us to eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood, and
  • urging us to eat less sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

Read the Executive Summary (4-page PDF).

Even small changes can make a big difference. For example, the AHA recently released a call to action: "intensify efforts to reduce the amount of sodium Americans consume daily. . . no more than 1500 milligrams (mg) of sodium a day because of the harmful effects of sodium – elevated blood pressure and increased risk of stroke, heart attacks and kidney disease."—The Importance of Population-Wide Sodium Reduction as a Means to Prevent Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke, AHA News Jan. 13, 2011.

We can help! The Nutrition topic in the Heart Information Center is full of great tips for healthy eating. Celebrate National Nutrition Month in March by taking one step each day toward a healthy heart.

 
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If you need information about keeping your heart healthy, e-mail the
Heart Information Center or call 1-800-292-2221.
 (Outside the U.S., call 1-832-355-6536.)

Texas Heart Institute Heart Information Center
Through this community outreach program, staff members of the Texas Heart Institute (THI) provide educational information related to the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of cardiovascular disease. It is not the intention of THI to provide specific medical advice, but rather to provide users with information to better understand their health and their diagnosed disorders. Specific medical advice will not be provided and THI urges you to visit a qualified physician for diagnosis and for answers to your questions.
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