(HealthDay News) — In a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published online in Circulation, the authors present evidence-based dietary pattern guidance to promote cardiometabolic health.

Noting that poor diet quality is strongly linked to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., from the Tufts University Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory in Boston, and colleagues address patient adherence to a heart-healthy dietary pattern associated with optimal cardiovascular health.

The researchers emphasized the importance of dietary patterns beyond individual foods or nutrients, the critical role of nutrition early in life, and the benefit of adhering to the elements of heart-healthy dietary patterns. To promote cardiometabolic health, evidence-based dietary pattern guidance was developed. The guidance included adjustment of energy intake and expenditure to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight; eating adequate and varied fruits and vegetables; choosing whole grain foods; choosing healthy protein sources, mainly plants, and including regular intake of fish and seafood; use of liquid plant oils instead of tropical oils and partially hydrogenated fats; choosing minimally processed foods; minimizing intake of added sugars; choosing foods with little or no salt; limiting alcohol intake; and adhering to these guidelines regardless of where food is prepared or consumed. Targeted marketing of unhealthy foods, neighborhood segregation, food insecurity, and structural racism are challenges to eating a heart-healthy dietary pattern.


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“Creating an environment that facilitates, rather than impedes, adherence to heart-healthy dietary patterns among all individuals is a public health imperative,” the authors write.

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