Heart disease is America’s number-one killer for both men and women, with about 82.6 million people in the United States having some form of cardiovascular disease.
According to the CDC, every year about 715,000 Americans experience a heart attack. About 600,000 people die from heart disease in the United States each year—that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths.
February is American Heart Month, a time to increase awareness of risk factors for heart disease and learn ways to prevent it. One very effective defense is a healthy diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low fat dairy, and limits sodium, saturated fat, trans fat and refined carbohydrates.
Here are the American Heart Association’s
heart healthy diet recommendations for an
adult consuming 2,000 calories daily:
• 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
• 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