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Controllable Risk Factors for Heart Disease
The good news is that many of the factors that increase your risk for cardiovascular disease are in your control. The American Heart Association's Diet and Lifestyle Goals to reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease1 suggest that everyone:
- Use up at least as many calories as you take in.
- Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups.
- Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods.
- Don't smoke tobacco-and stay away from tobacco smoke.
In fact, for all risk factors except one (tobacco exposure), a healthful diet and physical activity are the key for most individuals.
- Balance calorie intake and physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight
- Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables
- Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods
- Consume fish, especially oily fish, at least twice a week
- Limit the intake of saturated fat to <7% of energy, trans fat to <1% of energy, and cholesterol to <300 mg per day by
- - choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives
- - selecting fat-free (skim), 1%-fat, and low-fat dairy products
- - minimizing intake of partially hydrogenated fats
- Minimize intake of beverages and foods with added sugars
- Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt
- If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation
- When eating food prepared outside of the home, follow the above AHA Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations
For menu ideas to help manage weight that meet the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) guidelines, try our Campbell Healthy Eating Plans.
1. American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations; Accessed July 15, 2011
Get recommendations on heart-healthy eating and foods that meet the AHA´s Heart-Check criteria.
Delicious, flavorful additions to your heart-healthy diet.