Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans. Experts tell us that we may reduce heart disease by promoting a healthy diet and lifestyle.
The American Heart Association has identified seven health and behavior factors that impact health and quality of life.
1. don’t smoke
2. maintain a healthy weight
3. engage in regular physical activity
4. eat a healthy diet
5. manage blood pressure
6. take charge of cholesterol
7. keep blood sugar, or glucose, at healthy levels.
They tell us that as part of a healthy diet, an adult consuming 2,000 calories daily should aim for:
• Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day
• Fish (preferably oily fish): At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week
• Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
• Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg a day
• Sugar-sweetened beverages: No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week
Other Dietary Measures to strive to meet:
• Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week
• Processed meats: No more than 2 servings a week
• Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake
Caregivers may use these guidelines to help keep themselves healthy. Professional caregivers should be trained in recognizing these healthy choices, and in helping their clients to utilize them in meal preparation, as well as when providing daily activities.
Getting information from credible sources can help you make smart choices that will benefit your long-term heart health.