Dietary Guidelines to Improve Cardiovascular Health in 2021

Dieta proinflamatoria y su potencial para desencadenar eventos cardiovasculares

A poor diet is associated with high risk of heart disease, morbidity and mortality

This scientific document emphasizes the importance of a dietary pattern beyond food or nutrients: it highlights the critical role of early nutrition, presents us with elements to build healthy eating habits and underscores the need to introduce structural changes to achieve adherence to a balanced diet. 

A healthy dietary pattern based on evidence capable of promoting cardiometabolic health includes the following:

  • Adjusting calory consumption to calory expenditure to achieve and mantain a healthy weight.
  • Eating abundant and varied fruits and vegetables. 
  • Choosing whole grain products and foods.
  • Choosing healthy proteins (mostly plants and regularly fish and seafood). Choosing fat free or low-fat foods. 
  • Choosing lean cuts or the least processed, when consuming red meats or poultry,

Read also: Saturated Fats: Dietary Angels or Demons?

  • Using liquid vegetable oils instead of tropical or partially hydrogenated oils.  
  • Eating the least possible amount of processed food and avoiding ultra-processed food altogether. 
  • Avoiding beverages and foods with added sugar. 
  • Choosing and preparing food with the least possible amount of salt (if possible, no salt at all). 
  • Limiting alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether, preferably. 
  • Adhering to these guidelines regardless of where the food is prepared or consumed. 

The obstacles that might conspire against following the above-mentioned points are advertising of unhealthy food, and poor access to healthy food markets, which might not be available within reasonable distance (reachable on foot). 

Poor nutrition is only the tip of the iceberg; a lot more people cannot access any kind of food. 

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Original Title: 2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association.

Reference: Alice H. Lichtenstein et al. Circulation. 2021 Nov 2;CIR0000000000001031. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000001031. Online ahead of print.

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