New look at nutrition research identifies 10 features of a heart-healthy eating pattern

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The American Heart Association has identified 10 key attributes of a heart-healthy eating pattern in a new scientific statement that emphasizes the importance of a general dietary pattern rather than individual foods or nutrients and emphasizes the critical role of nutrition throughout life. These features can be adapted to accommodate individual food likes and dislikes, cultural traditions and whether most meals are eaten at home or on the go, according to the statement, “The 2021 Dietary Guidelines for Improving Cardiovascular Health,” published today in the association’s flagship journal. Rotation.

The new statement reflects the latest scientific evidence about the life-long benefits of heart-healthy eating and that poor diet quality is closely associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease and death. The statement stresses the importance of looking at the overall dietary pattern rather than the “good” or “bad” individual foods or nutrients. Dietary pattern refers to the balance, variety, amounts, and combination of foods and drinks eaten regularly. The statement also highlights the critical role of nutritional education, initiation of healthy eating early in life and maintenance for life, as well as societal and other challenges that may make it difficult to adopt or maintain a heart-healthy diet pattern.

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“We can all benefit from a heart-healthy dietary pattern regardless of life stage, and it is possible to design one that matches personal preferences, lifestyles, and cultural habits. It need not be complicated, time consuming, costly, or costly,” said scientific statement writing group leader Alice H. Lichtenstein, Ph.D. FAHA, chief scientist and director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Team at the Jane Mayer Center for Research on Human Nutrition on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

Because food is often eaten outside of the home, the statement asserts that it is possible to follow a heart-healthy eating pattern regardless of whether the food is prepared at home, ordered in a restaurant, online, or purchased as a prepared meal.

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“You can perfectly adapt a heart-healthy diet to different lifestyles,” said Liechtenstein, who is also professor of nutrition science and policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, including one that includes eating out at restaurants. It may take a little planning, but after the first few times it can become routine.”

The statement details 10 features of the diet to promote heart health:

  1. Balance food intake, calories, and physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.
  2. Choose a variety and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get the full range of nutrients from food rather than supplements;
  3. Choose whole grains and other foods made mostly of whole grains;
  4. Include healthy sources of lean and/or high-fiber proteins such as plant proteins (nuts and legumes), fish or seafood, low-fat or fat-free dairy products, and lean meats, and limit red and processed meat;
  5. the use of non-tropical liquid vegetable oils such as olive oil or sunflower oil;
  6. Choose minimally processed foods rather than ultra-processed foods as much as possible;
  7. Minimize intake of drinks and foods containing added sugars;
  8. choosing or preparing foods with little or no salt;
  9. reduce alcohol consumption; If you don’t drink, don’t start; And
  10. Apply this directive no matter where the food is prepared or consumed.

Processed foods include meats that have been preserved by smoking, processing, or adding chemical preservatives, and plant foods that contain salt, sugar, or fat. Many processed meats are high in salt, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Research shows that replacing processed meat with other protein sources is associated with lower mortality rates. Ultra-processed foods are those that bypass salt, sweeteners, or added fats to also include artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives that enhance shelf stability, preserve texture, and increase taste.

A heart-healthy diet is good for life

The statement explained that nutrition plays a critical role in heart health throughout life. A heart-healthy diet and healthy lifestyles — such as regular physical activity and avoiding exposure to tobacco products — are essential from childhood throughout adulthood to reduce the risk of high levels of “bad” cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, each of which It can increase the risk of heart disease.

Before and during pregnancy, women who follow a heart-healthy diet can reduce heart disease risk factors, which may help prevent unhealthy weight gain in their babies. Evidence shows that preventing childhood obesity is key to maintaining and prolonging a healthy heart throughout the lifespan. Later in life, people who follow a heart-healthy diet experience slower age-related declines in thinking and memory abilities.

“Evidence suggests that people of all ages can benefit from adhering to the principles of a heart-healthy eating pattern,” Lichtenstein said. “Likewise, it is important to educate children of all ages so that they can make informed decisions about what to eat and be positive role models for future generations, as they transition into adulthood.”

A heart-healthy diet can help the environment, too

For the first time, the issue of sustainability was included in the association’s nutritional guidelines. Commonly consumed animal products, especially red meat (beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison or goat), have the largest environmental impact in terms of water and land use, and contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, shifting dependence from meat to plant proteins can help improve one’s health and the environment.

“It is important to realize that the guidelines are not only compatible with heart health but also with sustainability – they are good for everyone and our environment,” Lichtenstein said.

However, the statement notes that not all sustainable diets are heart-healthy. For example, if a vegetarian diet contains a lot of refined carbohydrates and added sugars, the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease increases.

Societal challenges are needed to support heart healthy eating

For the first time, the 2021 Dietary Guidelines discuss many of the challenges that can make it difficult to adopt or maintain a heart-healthy diet. These include:

  • The spread of misinformation about the diet from the Internet;
  • lack of nutritional education in primary schools and medical schools;
  • Food and Nutritional Insecurity – According to the references cited in the statement, an estimated 37 million Americans had limited or precarious access to safe and nutritious foods in 2020;
  • structural racism and neighborhood segregation, with many communities with a higher proportion of racial and ethnic diversity having few grocery stores but many fast food outlets; And
  • Targeted marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to people of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds through dedicated advertising efforts and sponsorship of events and organizations in those communities.

According to the statement, public health measures and policy changes are required to address these challenges and obstacles.

The statement concluded, “Creating an environment that encourages and supports adherence to heart-healthy dietary patterns among all individuals is a public health imperative.”

On an individual level, the new statement reinforces the 2020 American Heart Association statement for healthcare professionals that encouraged routine assessment of patients’ nutritional quality and inclusion of this information in the medical record so that there is follow-up at the next appointment.

This scientific statement was prepared by the Voluntary Writing Group on behalf of the American Heart Association Council on Lifestyle and Cardiovascular Health. Council on Atherosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology; Board of Cardiovascular Radiology and Intervention; Board of Clinical Cardiology; and stroke board.


Federal dietary guidelines emphasize healthy eating habits but fall short on added sugars


more information:
2021 Dietary Guidelines for Better Cardiovascular Health, Rotation (2021). www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.116… CIR.0000000000001031

Submitted by the American Heart Association

the quote: New look at nutrition research identifies 10 traits of a heart-healthy eating pattern (November 2, 2021) Retrieved November 2, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-11-nutrition-features-heart-healthy-pattern. programming language

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