The American Heart Association Diet

The American Heart Association DietThe American Heart Association Diet is part of the overall health awareness provided by the American Heart Association.  March is heart awareness month and the purpose is to make every single person aware of the dangers of cardiovascular diseases and strokes and how to make some simple lifestyle changes that will insure the health of your heart for life.
The diet plan of the AHA is to help stop the number one killer of Americans to date, heart disease.  Adopting a heart healthy diet and lifestyle can actually prevent this dreaded disease.  It is all about making smart choices for the long-term health of your heart.
Of course, obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels in the blood, lack of exercise, smoking and high levels of glucose in the blood are all danger factors that will lead to heart disease.  Correcting these health issues will go a long way to preventing heart disease or stroke.  One of the easiest ways to help the health of your heart is to adopt a heart-smart eating program.
The AHA diet plan is actually very simple.  Eat a wide variety of healthy and nutritious foods.  The following are very basic guidelines based on a 2000 calorie daily diet plan:
•    Drinks that contain sugar should be limited to only 36 ounces in a period of one week
•    Sodium or salt should be under 1,500 mg in the period of one day
•    Fiber enriched foods like whole grains should be consumed in at least three small servings daily
•    Oily type fish should be eaten at least two times a week (3.5 oz. serving size)
•    Fresh vegetables and fruits should be included every day (4.5 cups)
•    Trans-fat or saturated fat should never be over seven percent of the total days food intake
•    Legumes, seeds and nuts should be included four times in a week
•    Vitamins A, C, D, E and B12 are recommended for consumption through fortified foods, foods high in these vitamins plus supplements
Based on 2000 calories per day each meal needs to be around 600-700 calories for each of your meals.  Of course, if you need to eat fewer calories than 2000 in a day then these amounts will change accordingly.  Always check the nutrition label percentages against the serving size listed.
The American Heart Association Diet recommends choosing foods that are high in fiber and nutrition as much as possible.  To make food choices in the grocery store easier, the AHA has put a symbol of a red heart with a white check mark on the package of foods that they consider excellent choices.  This heart symbol is the official stamp of approval given to make your shopping easier.  The heart symbols will be marked as either Low in Saturated Fat/Cholesterol for non-meats, whole grains or whole oats with soluble fiber and Extra Lean for seafood and meats.

If you are having a hard time finding your way to a heart healthy diet even though you know you need to start, find our more about what we offer on cardiac diet menus.

About Mathea

Mathea Ford, RD/LD, is the owner of Healthy Diet Menus For You, LLC. She has over 22 books on Amazon, check out her work at

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