It’s heart health month, so I thought I would talk about some new guidelines based on the effects of diet and exercise in relationship to the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD). These are recommendations from the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association.
1. Dietary plans that exemplify the best diet include The DASH (dietary approaches to stop hypertension), the USDA (United States department of agriculture) food plan and the AHA (american heart association) diet. These diets are rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Protein sources include fish, legumes, poultry and low-fat dairy. Vegetable fats and nuts are the recommended fats.
2. Lowering LDL (low density lipoprotein) is achieved best when only 5-6% of calories are from saturated fats and no trans fats.
3. Recommendations for lowering blood pressure include restricting sodium intake to no more than 2400 mg daily and ideally to 1500 mg daily. If you reduce it even further (1000 mg daily) it reduces cardiovascular disease by 30%. The DASH diet is beneficial in lowering blood pressure in many subgroups including men, women , blacks and non-black adults and young and old. DASH diet info is available at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/
4. As far as exercise is concerned…three to four 40 minute sessions of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise weekly helps lower cholesterol, blood pressure and heart disease.
Information on the USDA food pattern is http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/USDAFoodPatterns.htm.
Information on the AHA diet is available at http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/HealthyDietGoals/Healthy-Diet-Goals_UCM_310436_SubHomePage.jsp
Reference: Foody, J. “Encouraging a heart-Healthy Lifestyle”, JWatch.org. Dec 15, 2013. p. 195