AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION DIET

Since nutrition is so important to our health, the American Heart Association Diet is a resource we’re delighted to share with you because the word “diet” is not just about striving to lose weight. It also means carefully choosing what we eat so that our body can function optimally.

The American Heart Association Diet favors eating fresh fruit all year round

Fruit salad is a delicious dish at any time of the year

If you’ve have taken a look at the first two pages we’ve written about the American Heart Association, you’ll already be aware that heart disease can affect anyone regardless of age or gender. Their research programs, education initiatives and prevention campaigns also cover diet and the importance of making good food choices, such as focusing on low cholesterol foods and a substitute for sugar.

Here we’ve compiled some key factors to consider when you are preparing meals for yourself, or your family, or to take to a friend's house, as well as how to eat healthily when you go to a restaurant.

A FEW FOOD BASICS

Maintain a healthy regimen by knowing what and how much to eat

The American Heart Association Diet recommends eating salmon
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Knowing what to eat and how much will enable you to start and maintain a healthy regimen. The American Heart Association Diet makes the following recommendations based on the accepted standard that the average adult needs to consume 2,000 calories daily.

  • Fruit and vegetables – at least 4.5 cups
  • Fish (preferably oily fish) – at least two 3.5 ounce servings a week
  • Fiber-rich whole grains – at least three 1 ounce servings a day
  • Sodium – less than 1,500 mg daily
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages – no more than 36 ounces a week
  • Nuts, legumes and seeds – at least 4 servings a week
  • Processed meats – no more than 2 servings a week
  • Saturated fat – less than 7% of total energy intake

HEALTHY HOME COOKING

Choose carefully what you eat so that your body can function optimally

The American Heart Association Diet offers tips for buying healthy ingredients for home cooking

Cooking meals at home automatically gives you a big advantage as you have control over the ingredients you select and how you prepare them. You are the one in charge making sure that what you serve is satisfying and nutritious.

Here are some helpful shopping tips:

  • Pick beef labeled “choice” or “select” rather than “prime,” which has abundant marbling
  • With red meat and pork, cuts that usually have the least amount of fat are “loin” and “round”
  • When choosing poultry, breasts are leaner than the darker, fattier meat of the legs and thighs
  • When cooking egg dishes or when egg is one of the ingredients of a recipe, use egg whites rather than yolks. For each egg yolk, use two egg whites instead.
  • When selecting daily products, such as milk, yogurt and cheese, opt for low-fat or fat-free versions
  • Salad dressings, dips and marinades can also be low-fat, light, or no-fat


CAN YOU LIVE WITHOUT FAST FOOD?

The American Heart Association Diet shows you how to pick fast food alternatives

Follow these helpful shopping tips for cooking nutritious meals at home


We think so and suggest some alternatives to the typical menu choices at the fast food restaurants you may frequent. Here are some great examples from the American Heart Association Diet.

Used to order:

Danish pastry

Jumbo cheeseburger



Fried chicken

Fried chicken pieces

French fries

Now ask for:

Small bagel

Grilled chicken sandwich or sliced meat sandwich or even a regular hamburger on a bun with lettuce, tomato and onion

Grilled chicken and side salad

Grilled chicken sandwich

Baked potato with side serving of low-fat or fat-free sour cream or margarine

HOW TO SNACK WITH THE AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION DIET

Since the variety is enormous and it’s not possible to list them all here. However, we have chosen a few and are confident you will come up with a lot more health ways to satisfy food cravings and to help you “last” till your next main meal.

Ratatouille is a tasty, easy-to-prepare vegetable dish

Crunchy Snacks

  • Carrot and celery sticks
  • Broccoli spears
  • Radishes

Munchy Snacks

  • Whole-grain bread or toast
  • Bagels
  • Unsalted almonds, walnuts and other nuts

Thirst Quenching Snacks

  • Unsweetened juices
  • Low-sodium tomato or mixed vegetable juice
  • Water

Sweet Tasting Snacks

  • Frozen grapes
  • Unsweetened canned fruit
  • Fruit yoghurt, unsweetened, low-fat or fat-free


MORE TOPICS

In the coming months we will be adding pages to showcase more matters of the heart. For now we invite you to learn how to recognize Heart Attack Signs in both men and women and get emergency medical help. Please click to view.

To read about other highly informative topics directly related to the goals of the American Heart Association and more ways to protect your heart, please click on the links below.

OUR GIFT CATALOG

A great way for us to join forces and help the American Heart Association carry on their work is to acquire a unique, handcrafted glass pendant from our collection of Gift Ideas For Her. Please click on the words Gift Catalog to view. We are proud to make them available to our visitors. Enjoy looking at them, giving them and wearing them!

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Reading reliable information from several different sources will reinforce the choices you have already made and, perhaps, convince you to make changes or try something new.

For this reason we suggest you take a look at the articles published each month in the HuffPost Healthy Living section of the Huffington Post.

Their panel of expert physicians and nutritionists present a list of the 50 healthiest foods that are in season during a particular month of the year. Figs, zucchini and apricots are examples of items included in the June article. Well worth visiting http://www.huffingtonpost.com/healthy-living to learn about this and much more.