Heart Healthy Lifestyles
The American Heart Association's health recommendations previously focused on dietary issues, but have now evolved to emphasize the value of an overall healthy lifestyle.
"The key message of the recommendations is to focus on long-term, permanent changes in how we eat and live," said Alice Lichtenstein, chair of the heart association's nutrition committee.
"The best way to lower cardiovascular risk is to combine physical activity with heart-healthy eating habits, coupled with weight control and avoiding tobacco products."
Many of the new recommendations released last month seem relatively straightforward: Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Don't let cholesterol, blood pressure or blood sugar levels get out of control. If levels are unhealthy, work to improve them.
Control your weight and be physically active. Don't eat so much saturated fat, trans fats or products with added sugars. Don't smoke, and avoid exposure to tobacco products.