Lichtenstein and other experts in the field collaborated with the American Heart Association on a new diet and heart health statement released last week.”The importance is not on a single food or nutrient, but on the whole package,” Lichtenstein explained to MetroNews. “Almost any dietary pattern can be modified in order to shift toward a healthy dietary pattern.”
The key, according to Lichtenstein, is shifting and balancing.”People don’t have to give up or make drastic changes in their diet, which are usually unsustainable, but they do have to make gradual shifts and take advantage of the new products that are available.”
The statement outlines ten characteristics of a heart-healthy diet:
1..To maintain a healthy weight, balance food and calorie intake with physical activity.
2..Select a wide variety of fruits and vegetables and eat plenty of them to get a full range of nutrients from food rather than supplements.
3..Select whole grains and foods made primarily of whole grains;
4..Include plant proteins (nuts and legumes), fish or seafood, low fat or nonfat dairy, lean cuts of meat, and limit red and processed meats as healthy sources of lean and/or high-fiber protein.
5..Use non-tropical plant oils in liquid form, such as olive or sunflower oil;
6..As much as possible, choose minimally processed foods over ultra-processed foods.
.Reduce your intake of sugary beverages and foods.
8..Select or prepare foods that contain little or no salt;
9..Reduce your alcohol consumption; if you don’t drink, don’t start. and
10..Use this advice regardless of where food is prepared or consumed.Balance, according to Lichtenstein, is essential.
“It’s not just what you eat, but also what you don’t eat,” she explained. “What we’re trying to encourage people to do is change their eating habits so that they eat more of what they should and less of what they shouldn’t.
“In many ways, she says, it’s easier to start eating healthier now. She claims that there are many more options available, and that many of them are becoming less expensive.It’s important to remember that a heart-healthy diet is a marathon, not a sprint, according to Lichtenstein.”We’re talking about the long haul.” We’re not talking about the typical diet that you follow for a few weeks or months. However, it is to make changes that you are comfortable with and that are relatively simple,” Lichtenstein explained.Heart disease is the leading cause of death in West Virginia. Heart disease was responsible for nearly 4,900 deaths in 2017.
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