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Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. If you are worried about heart disease, one of the most important things you can do is to start eating a heart-healthy diet. Changing your diet can help stop or even reverse heart disease.
At first, it may seem like there is a lot to learn. But you don't have to make these changes all at once. Start with small steps. Over time, making a number of small changes can add up to a big difference in your heart health.
To have a heart-healthy diet:
You can get even more benefit from making diet changes if you also get plenty of exercise and don't smoke.
But you don't have to be perfect, and you don't have to do it all at once. Make one or two changes at a time. As soon as you are used to those, make another one or two changes. Over time, making a number of small changes can add up and make a big difference in your health.
Here are some ideas about how to get started:
It may take some time to get used to new tastes and habits, but don't give up. Keep in mind the good things you are doing for your heart and your overall health.
Other Works Consulted
American Heart Association (2006). Diet and lifestyle recommendations revision 2006. Circulation, 114(1): 82-96. [Erratum in Circulation, 114(1): e27.]
Eckel RH, et al. (2013). 2013 AHA/ACC guideline on lifestyle management to reduce cardiovascular risk: A report of the American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice Guidelines. Circulation. http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2013/11/11/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.citation. Accessed December 5, 2013.
Expert Panel on Integrated Guidelines for Cardiovascular Health and Risk Reduction in Children and Adolescents (2011). Expert panel on integrated guidelines for cardiovascular health and risk reduction in children and adolescents: Summary report. Pediatrics, 128(Suppl 5): S213-S256.
Johnson RK, et al. (2009). Dietary sugars intake and cardiovascular health: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation, 120(11): 1011-1020.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015). 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans 8th ed. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed January 12, 2016.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerRakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, ElectrophysiologyMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerColleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
Current as ofDecember 6, 2017
Current as of:
December 6, 2017
Rakesh K. Pai, MD - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Colleen O'Connor, PhD, RD - Registered Dietitian
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