Heart disease is the number one cause of death in America. About 92 million people in the United States have one form of heart/cardiovascular disease — that’s about 29 percent of the population. Many of these deaths and risk factors are actually preventable, and food choices have a big force on your heart’s health, even if you have other risk factors.
Only a few risk factors like age, gender and family history, cannot be controlled. You can prevent and control many risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes and medications.
A healthy lifestyle — following a good and healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, stopping smoking and managing stress — can reduce your risk for heart disease and may keep current heart disease from worsening.
A Heart-Healthy Diet
To reduce your risk of heart disease, follow these recommendations directly from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
- “Adhere to a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.”
- “Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.”
- “Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.”
- “Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.”
- “Support healthy eating patterns for all.”