No ‘good’ vs. ‘bad’ foods: 10 eating ‘patterns’ to prevent heart disease, death

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Looks like we’ve been talking about healthy eating wrong.

The American Heart Association released a new scientific statement Tuesday that encourages everyone to focus on their general dietary “patterns” to take care of their indexes, rather than on foods, ingredients, and drinks that are “good” or “bad” for their heart.

The “2021 Dietary Guidelines for Improving Cardiovascular Health” were published in the Society’s flagship journal Circulation on Tuesday. This more modern approach to nutrition aims to adapt more easily to different cultural traditions, individual likes and dislikes, as well as societal issues such as whether most meals are prepared and eaten at home, or picked up on the go. At work or school.

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“It doesn’t have to be complicated, time-consuming, expensive or unattractive.”

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“We can all benefit from a heart-healthy dietary pattern regardless of life stage, and it is possible to design a pattern that matches personal preferences, lifestyles and cultural habits,” said Alice H. Liechtenstein, lead scientific statement. Writing group, in a statement.

“It doesn’t have to be complicated, time consuming, expensive or unattractive,” added Lichtenstein, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Team at the Jane Mayer Center for Human Nutrition Research on Aging at Tufts University in Boston.

She admits that adopting heart-healthy eating habits, such as choosing fish for the main on a restaurant steak, or choosing brown rice instead of white fried rice from your favorite Chinese fast food restaurant, may seem strange at first. “It may take a little planning, but after the first few times it can become a routine,” she said.

Here are 10 steps for the American Heart Association to get dietary pattern To promote heart health:

  1. Balance food intake, calories, and physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

  2. Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables, and eat plenty of produce, to get the full range of nutrients from food – rather than supplements.

  3. Choose whole grains and other foods made mostly of whole grains, such as whole wheat, oatmeal, brown rice, and popcorn.

  4. Include healthy sources of lean and/or fiber-rich proteins such as plant proteins (nuts, legumes); fish or seafood, low-fat or skimmed dairy products; Cut out lean meat – and limit red and processed meat.

  5. Use non-tropical, liquid vegetable oils such as olive or sunflower oil.

  6. Choose lightly processed foods (such as a bag of salads or roasted and unsalted nuts) rather than ultra-processed foods (such as sugary cereals, chips or smoked sausage) as much as possible.

  7. Limit eating and drinking foods and drinks that contain added sugars.

  8. Choose or prepare foods with little or no salt.

  9. Reduce alcohol consumption. And if you don’t drink, don’t start.

  10. Apply this guidance no matter where the food is prepared or consumed, such as whether you are at home, eating out, or ordering takeaways.

These tips should sound familiar; Many of these tips have been backed by scientific research for years.

Read more: These four diet and lifestyle changes can reduce your risk of developing cancer by about 20%.

And that’s the point. The new AHA statement reflects the latest scientific evidence about the benefits of heart-healthy eating throughout life, and how poor diet quality is closely related to increased risks of cardiovascular disease and death.

Weight Watchers took a similar step a few years ago. The company was founded to help people lose weight, and the watch was the scale literally in his name. But in 2018, Weight Watchers International Inc. They shifted their focus from losing weight to a wellness journey, and changed their legal name to WW International Inc WW,
-1.44%.
In September 2019. More people were joining Weight Watchers for “something more than just getting a size 8,” CEO Mindy Grossman said in 2018. “Today, health is the new thinness.” And the brand customizes its lifestyle guides for individual users, moving away from the old school “one size fits all” approach.

Related: “Covid 15?” If only – that’s how much weight the average person actually gained during the pandemic

And now, for the first time, the American Heart Association is highlighting challenges such as societal factors that can make it difficult for people to learn or maintain healthy eating patterns. For example, about 2.3 million Americans live in food deserts more than a mile from a supermarket and don’t own a car, according to federal data, making it difficult to shop for nutritious, less processed foods. The COVID-19 pandemic has also seen more people order fast food from home – and takeout, conversely, has risen as bars and restaurants reopen in some areas.

The American Heart Association has highlighted the following societal challenges that can make it difficult to start or maintain a heart-healthy eating pattern:

  • The spread of misinformation about 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.

  • 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.

The guidelines recommend public health actions and policy changes to address these barriers, calling them a “public necessity.”

The AHA statement also notes that a heart-healthy eating pattern is good for the environment. Popular 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, compared to plant foods. “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.

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