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Heart disease is the number one killer
of both men and women in the United States. If you are worried about heart
disease, one of the most important things you can do is to start eating a
heart-healthy diet. Changing your diet can help stop or even reverse heart
At first, it may seem like there is a lot to learn. But
you don't have to make these changes all at once. Start with small steps. Over
time, making a number of small changes can add up to a big difference in your
To have a heart-healthy diet:
To have a
You can get even more benefit from making diet changes if
you also get plenty of exercise and don't smoke.
But you don't
have to be perfect, and you don't have to do it all at once. Make one or two
changes at a time. As soon as you are used to those, make another one or two
changes. Over time, making a number of small changes can add up and make a big
difference in your health.
Here are some ideas about how to get
It may take some time to get used to new tastes and habits,
but don't give up. Keep in mind the good things you are doing for your heart
and your overall health.
Other Works Consulted
American Heart Association (2006). Diet and lifestyle
recommendations revision 2006. Circulation, 114(1):
82–96. [Erratum in Circulation, 114(1): e27.]
Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents (2011). Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: Summary report. Pediatrics, 128(Suppl 5): S213–S256.
Johnson RK, et al. (2009). Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 120(11): 1011–1020.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S.
Department of Agriculture (2010). Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, 7th ed. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing
Office. Also available online:
February 5, 2013
Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
& Colleen Gobert, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
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