The American Heart Association has released new dietary guidelines for heart health, as part of its mission to reduce heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
The change is really aimed at making the guidelines more user-friendly, said Dr. Stanley Wang, a cardiologist at Austin Heart and Heart Hospital in Austin. Instead of telling people how many grams of something is, the guidelines speak in broad strokes about making healthy choices.
“These ten points, we hope the public will absorb,” Wang said. “Previous discoveries don’t go away, but this one is more accessible.”
The directions closely follow a Mediterranean diet that emphasizes plants, healthy fats, and lean protein.
The two things that are really interesting, Wang said, are how strong the American Heart Association is against tropical oils like coconut and palm, which have become popular under ketogenic diet plans, and against the use of alcohol.
The theory that one or two glasses of red wine is heart-healthy exercise was not found in these new recommendations. It’s also a practice that many cardiologists, like Wang, have tried to advise against. “There are groups of studies that (alcohol) is really bad for you in many different ways,” he said. These include an increased risk of some cancers and dementia, not just heart disease.
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Here are the instructions:
1. Adjust energy intake (calories) and expenditure (activity) to reach and maintain a healthy weight.
2. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and their types.
3. Choose foods and products made with whole grains.
4. Choose healthy sources of protein (mostly plants; regular consumption of fish and seafood; low-fat or fat-free dairy; and if you like to eat meat or poultry, choose lean cuts and unprocessed forms).
5. Use liquid vegetable oils instead of tropical oils and partially hydrogenated fats.
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6. Choose minimally processed foods rather than ultra-processed foods.
7. Limit your intake of drinks and foods that contain added sugars.
8. Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt.
9. If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t start; If you choose to drink alcohol, limit your intake.
10. Stick to these guidelines no matter where the food is prepared or consumed.
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These guidelines were issued just weeks after the US Food and Drug Administration recommended that manufacturers and restaurants reduce the amount of sodium in their food. The recommended daily allowance is 2,300 milligrams per day, but most people age 2 and older consume 3,400 milligrams per day and 70% of that is added in food processing, not the salt a person adds to a meal or is natural. in food.