July 23, 2024

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American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!

American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!


American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!

Throughout our lives, dietary nutrition plays a vital role in cardiovascular health. In fact, many diseases are related to unhealthy diet.


Unhealthy diet is closely related to the increased risk of cardiovascular disease and mortality. The diet and lifestyle that are beneficial to cardiovascular health can reduce our risk of diseases such as hypertension, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and metabolic syndrome from childhood to adulthood.



American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!

In October 2021, the American Heart Association published the latest guidelines, which announced healthy eating patterns that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease at all stages of life. The guidelines listed the latest scientific evidence that is beneficial to heart health. ①


American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!



Point 1: Balance your food and energy intake and maintain a healthy weight.

Maintaining a healthy weight throughout your life is an important part of reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. A healthy eating pattern, coupled with at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, contributes to energy balance. Because even if it is a healthy food, eating too much may consume too much energy and gain weight.


Point two: Choose a rich variety of foods instead of relying on nutritional supplements.

Evidence suggests that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating a rich variety of foods can provide enough essential nutrients and plant compounds. Generally, dark-colored fruits and vegetables have higher nutrient density and dietary fiber than light-colored fruits and vegetables.


All forms of fruits and vegetables (such as fresh, frozen, canned and dried) can be eaten. But canned food should limit the intake of salt and sugar. Moreover, most fruits and vegetables are not recommended to be eaten as juice, cooked or raw is better.


Point three: Choose whole grains instead of refined carbohydrates.

The guidelines point out that daily intake of whole grains (containing intact starchy endosperm, germ and bran) food is associated with reducing risk factors such as coronary heart disease, stroke, and metabolic syndrome.


Point Four: Choose healthy protein, such as beans, fish, and skim milk.

Common legume foods include soybeans (including edamame and tofu), other legumes, lentils, chickpeas, and peas. These plant foods are a good source of protein and dietary fiber. Studies have found that higher intake of beans and nuts is associated with lower risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke.


Intake of red meat is usually associated with increased cardiovascular disease. It is recommended to use unprocessed poultry, fish, nuts and beans and other foods instead of red meat and processed meat.


Studies have shown that regular consumption of fish and seafood (2-3 servings per week), or consumption of non-fat and low-fat dairy products is always associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Replacing saturated fat with a diet based on high-unsaturated fat is also related to cardiovascular health.


Point Five: Use vegetable oils instead of animal fats and hydrogenated fats.

Use liquid vegetable oils (such as olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, soybean oil, walnut oil, and linseed oil) instead of tropical vegetable oils (such as coconut oil and palm oil), animal fats (lard and butter), and partially hydrogenated fats.


Studies have found that dietary intake of unsaturated fats (polyunsaturated monounsaturated fats) can help protect the heart, reduce the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and the risk of cardiovascular disease, and slow the progression of atherosclerosis.


Point Six: Choose low-processed foods as much as possible instead of ultra-processed foods.

Ultra-processed food refers to the addition of salt, sweetener or fat, but also artificial colors, flavors and preservatives to promote food stability and increase flavor. Such as smoked, cured or added chemical preservatives meat, and added salt, sugar or fat plant food. Many processed meats are high in salt, saturated fat and cholesterol.


Studies have shown that replacing processed meat with protein from other sources is associated with a lower mortality rate. Eating many ultra-processed foods is associated with increased overweight and obesity, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.


Point Seven: Minimize the intake of beverages and foods containing added sugars.

Common types of added sugar include glucose, dextrose, sucrose, corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, and concentrated fruit juice. Added sugar has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and overweight. It is recommended to minimize the intake of added sugars and use low-energy sweeteners instead of added sugars in beverages.


Point Eight: select or process, produce less salt or salt-free food.

Studies have found that lowering sodium intake can lower blood pressure, whether it is normal blood pressure or patients taking antihypertensive drugs, can improve the prevention and control of hypertension.


Point Night: Limit alcohol, and the safest amount of alcohol is 0.

The relationship between drinking and cardiovascular disease is complex, and the risk is related to alcohol intake, age and gender. Simply put, as alcohol intake increases, the risk of hemorrhagic stroke and atrial fibrillation also increases.


In August 2018, “The Lancet” published a study on drinking and disease. The study analyzed 694 data sources on individual and group drinking from 195 countries/regions from 1990 to 2016. And 592 studies on the risk of alcohol consumption. The results show that the safest drinking is 0, that is to say, not drinking is the healthiest way. ②


Point Ten: Stick to any healthy diet and follow the guidelines.

Eat more fruits, vegetables, beans, and white meat as a high-quality protein diet, suitable for all environments and all foods, no matter where they are made, purchased and eaten, they should follow the healthy diet guidelines and stick to it for a long time.


American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!


Promote a healthy cardiovascular diet, eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, white meat, beans and nuts, with vegetable oil as the main fat; eat less red meat, processed meat, alcohol, high-salt, high-sugar and high-animal fat foods.





①lice H. Lichtenstein et al., 2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association(2021). Circulation, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1161/CIR.0000000000001031 ②Risk thresholds for alcohol consumption: combined analysis of individual-participant data for 599912 current drinkers in 83 prospective studies,The Lancet,14 April,2018

American Heart Association: 10 major diet points can prevent many diseases!

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