Food and Nutrition

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The Queen's Medical Center

Food and Nutrition Services
Nutrition Guidelines for a Healthy Heart


Here are some of the key points from the 2000 American Heart Association dietary guidelines to help reduce your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Eat Foods From All The Major Food Groups
Include a variety of fruits and vegetables—choose 5 or more servings per day. Studies have shown that people who have a high intake of fruits and vegetables have a lower risk for developing heart disease, stroke, and stroke and hypertension. Eat a "well balanced" diet including grains (especially whole gain foods), non-fat and low fat diary products, and protein foods (fish, legumes, poultry, and lean meats). Eating foods from all the food groups will help you to get all the nutrients you need.

Achieve a Healthy Body Weight
Avoid excessive calories by limiting foods high in sugars and fat. If overweight, gradual weight loss of 1 to 2 pounds per week can be achieved by cutting down 500 to 1000 calories per day. Although high protein, low carbohydrate diets are popular, there a no studies on their long-term effects. These diets may adversely affect blood lipid levels, kidney function, and bone density.  Keep active—walk intermittently for a total of 30 to 45 minutes per day is a suggested start.

Achieve a Desirable Cholesterol Level
Limit full-fat dairy products, fatty meats, and coconut/palm oil which are high in saturated fat. Limit trans fatty acids found in foods containing "partially hydrogenated oils" like many commercially baked good, hard margarines, and commercially fried foods. Food rich in omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial to decrease your risk for heart disease. These foods include fish, especially fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and albacore tuna, flaxseed, canola oil, soybean oil and nuts. The American Heart Association now recommends at least 2 servings of fish per week because of its cardioprotective effects.

Achieve a Desirable Blood Pressure Level
Limit salt and high sodium foods to less than 2400 milligrams of sodium per day. If you drink, limit alcohol to no more than one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men. Maintain a healthy weight, increase physical activity, and include fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products in your diet. These foods are high in potassium and other minerals and can help to improve blood pressure.

For more information about the AHA Dietary Guidelines, refer to www.americanheart.org. These guidelines also address the use of very low fat diets, dietary supplements, fat substitutes, soy protein, and other hot topics.


Monday thru Friday:
8:00am to 4:30pm

 


808.691.4255

 


808.691.7807

 


nutrition@queens.org

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