Recommendations for lifestyle management for adults who need to reduce low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) or blood pressure have been developed, according to a report published in Circulation and the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Robert H. Eckel, M.D., and colleagues from the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Expert Work Group reviewed and graded the evidence and developed lifestyle management guidelines.

The guidelines relate to diet and physical activity for adults who would benefit from LDL-C lowering or blood pressure lowering. In general, they recommend a dietary pattern that emphasizes vegetable, fruit, and whole grain intake, and includes low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, non-tropical oil, and nuts, and restricts sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages, and red meat intake.

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This pattern should be adapted to appropriate calorie requirements, personal and cultural food preferences, and specific nutrition therapy for medical conditions. Reduction of the percent of calories from saturated and trans fats is recommended for those who would benefit from LDL-C lowering. Reduction of sodium intake is recommended for adults who would benefit from blood pressure lowering. Adults should be encouraged to engage in moderate-to-vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity three to four times per week for an average of 40 minutes to lower LDL-C or blood pressure.

“Lifestyle modification should be incorporated throughout the therapeutic window,” Eckel said in a statement. “These recommendations should be a part of every physician’s practice who is concerned with prevention.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and nutrition industries.