The American Heart Association's Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
A healthy diet and lifestyle are your best weapons to fight cardiovascular disease. It's not as hard as you may think! Remember its the overall pattern of your choices that counts. Make the simple steps below part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your heart.
Use up at least as many calories as you take in.
If you would benefit from lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol, the American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of aerobic exercise of moderate to vigorous intensity three to four times a week.
As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these recommendations:
Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups.
You may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but are lower in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight, cholesterol and your blood pressure.
To get the nutrients you need, eat a dietary pattern that emphasizes:
Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods.
The right number of calories to eat each day is based on your age and physical activity level and whether you're trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight. You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you probably wouldn’t get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Limit foods and beverages high in calories but low in nutrients. Also limit the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and sodium you eat. Read Nutrition Facts labels carefully — the Nutrition Facts panel tells you the amount of healthy and unhealthy nutrients in a food or beverage.
Also, don’t smoke tobacco — and avoid secondhand smoke.
Learn more about quitting smoking For more information on the American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations:
Information originally from the American Heart Association located at: