Eat more whole foods, less salt: American Heart Association issues updated dietary guidelines

Rather than focusing on individual nutrients or foods, the American Heart Association (AHA) has issued guidelines for “holistic dietary patterns” to improve heart health.

NS 2021 Dietary Guidance for Improving Cardiovascular Health has been published in the Journal. Spreading, This is the first time since 2006 that the guidelines have been updated.

,poor diet quality Cardiovascular disease is strongly associated with a high risk of morbidity and mortality. This scientific statement emphasizes the importance of dietary patterns beyond individual foods or nutrients, outlines the important role of nutrition early in life, presents elements of heart-healthy dietary patterns, and highlights structural challenges. that hinders following a heart-healthy dietary pattern. Scientific statement from the aha.

The guidelines include these pointers

*Adjust energy intake and expenditure to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
* Eat plenty and eat a variety of fruits and vegetables;
*to select whole-grain foods more products
*Choose healthy sources of protein (mostly plants; regular intake of fish and seafood; low-fat or fat-free dairy products; and if meat or poultry is desired, choose lean cuts and unprocessed forms)
*Use liquid plant oils instead of tropical oils and partially hydrogenated fats;
*Choose minimally processed foods over ultra-processed foods;
* Minimize consumption of beverages and foods with added sugars;
* Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt;
*If you don’t drink, don’t start; If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake; And

Why does diet matter?

Experts mention that a changeable and hectic lifestyle with easy availability of convenient food items has led to irregular meals and frequent snacking on energy-rich ready-to-use foods instead of traditional home-cooked meals.

In contemporary times, consumption of processed and ready-to-eat foods and healthy beverages has changed people’s eating habits as well as their dietary behavior, says Dr Siddhant Bhargava, fitness and nutrition scientist, Co-Founder- Food the tailor told indianexpress.com,

“Based on science, the updated guidelines emphasize diet along with physical exercise. They also provide recommendations for Asian Indians from birth to older adults. This includes a reduction in carbohydrate intake, preferential intake complex carbohydratesHigh intake of fiber, slightly more protein intake, less salt intake, limited intake of sugar etc. which will help in preventing the increasing cases of heart diseases, obesity, metabolic syndrome. This nutritional change has the potential to lead to obesity as well as diet-related non-communicable diseases,” he said.

The statement also mentioned how adherence to this guidance is required “regardless of where the food is prepared or eaten”.

“Challenges that hinder adherence to heart-healthy dietary patterns include targeted marketing of unhealthy foods, neighborhood segregation, food and nutrition insecurities, and structural racism. Creating an environment that hinders, rather than hinders, adherence. provide convenience heart-healthy diet patterns There is a public health imperative among all individuals,” the statement read.

how’s your diet doing? (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

“The need of the hour is to disseminate information on how diet is an important factor in preventing coronary heart disease. and, further, a lower saturated fat, high FibreA high plant food diet can significantly reduce the risk of developing heart disease,” said Dr Bhargava.

Whenever food is prepared at home or ordered online, one should check the sodium, added sugars and fat going into the making, as per Rutu Dhodapkar, Department of Dietetics, PD Hinduja Hospital and Medical Research Center, Khar. told.

“When purchasing food, read the label carefully for ingredients and manufacturing and expiration dates. Always buy foods with latest manufacturing date and consume before expiry. Check the sodium levels mentioned on the products. Incorporate a low-fat diet rich in antioxidants like berries that contain anthocyanins that protect against oxidative stress and inflammation and contribute to combating heart disease. Avocado is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat which helps in lowering cholesterol levels thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Include omega 3 fatty acids such as salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna. Vegetarian sources are chia seeds, flaxseeds, walnuts,” said Dhodpakar.

However, despite strong evidence showing potential health facilities While foods, nutrients, bioactive compounds, and dietary antioxidants may have an impact on cardiovascular risk factors or directly on its development, Dr. Bhargava noted that “taking more traditional studies with a greater number of cases, rigorous investigation and longer follow-up.” necessary to do.”

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