Archive for July 8th, 2011
Friday, July 8th, 2011
The types and variety of foods you select make a difference to your heart and your overall health. You already know the importance of control ling fat, cholesterol, sodium, and calories. Too much sugar and alcohol also are not healthful. The following section provides specific suggestions for replacing less-healthful foods with more-healthful, tasty food choices.
These recommendations for improving your diet for your heart’s sake are not a “prescription” diet. Eating healthfully is something your whole family can enjoy together. The principles of good nutrition are basically the same whether you are trying to maintain your health or whether you need to reduce your level-of blood cholesterol, lose weight, or control high blood pressure or diabetes. Your doctor or registered dietitian may suggest more specific changes in yotur diet to help you lose weight or customize the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, or high blood cholesterol.
The following six basic guidelines will make your diet more healthful. They start by suggesting you eat more—not less—of certain types of foods.
1. Eat five or more servings of various fruits and vegetables every day.
2. Eat six or more daily servings of grain products, preferably whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, and pasta.
3. Include two to three servings of low-fat or skim milk dairy products in your daily diet.
4. Eat no more than 5 to 7 ounces of meat a day. Occasionally substitute other high-protein, low-fat foods, such as eggs and dried beans, for meat.
5. Use fats sparingly—no more than 6 to 8 teaspoons of spreadable or pourable fat in your daily diet.
6. Eat fewer sweets and desserts and drink less alcohol.
Use these basic principles when you eat, shop for groceries, and plan meals, as well as when you eat out. You will most likely decrease fat and calories in your diet by eating more fruits, vegetables, and grains, and the temptation to eat higher-calorie processed foods that may be higher in fat and sodium will diminish.
The following pages discuss each guideline in more detail and provide specific suggestions for grocery shopping, reading labels, and cooking. With a few simple substitutions, you will be eating more healthfully.