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Self-Care

AHA Recommendations Encourage Heart-healthy Eating And Lifestyle Changes

The American Heart Association (AHA) has released new recommendations on how to lower cardiovascular risk by focusing on long-term permanent changes in eating habits and physical activity.

The recommendations, called "Making Healthy Food and Lifestyle Choices: Our Guide for American Adults," address the challenge of maintaining a healthy diet while eating more food prepared outside of the home.

The AHA offers a list of ways that practitioners, restaurants, the food industry, schools and local governments can help the general public eat healthy and adapt to the updated recommendations.

The industry is urged to gradually reduce the salt and sugar content of processed foods, while increasing the proportion of whole grains compared to white flour in baked goods.

New Recommendations:

  • Balance the number of calories consumed with the number of calories burned

  • Avoid adding saturated fat, sugar or salt during food preparation

  • Be aware of portion size

  • Saturated fat intake should be less than 7 percent- a change from less than 10 percent

  • Trans fatty acids should be less than 1 percent of total calories

  • Watch for liquid calories found in soft drinks, fruit drinks, fruit juices and alcoholic beverages

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity every day

  • Avoid tobacco products

The recommendations also address different groups such as children, older adults, or individuals who are at high risk for cardiovascular disease.

For more information on the American Heart Association, visit www.americanheart.org


© 2006 Health Resources Publishing