As Americans contemplate voting for change on Tuesday, Election Day, the American Heart Association encourages everyone to make a change in their own lives on Wednesday – Start! Eating Healthy Day.
A recent American Heart Association study shows that 70 percent of American adults report being told by a health care professional to make a lifestyle change. Start! Eating Healthy Day signifies the dedication of the American Heart Association’s Start! initiative to the health and wellness of all Americans. It is not only beneficial for the heart to engage in physical activity, but it’s also important to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet.
Start! Eating Healthy Day encourages people to make small changes each day to incorporate healthier food choices. Through this day, the Start! initiative increases awareness of the importance of good nutrition; provides education, tools and resources to companies nationwide; and raises funds to help in the fight against heart disease and stroke.
American Heart Association recommendations to reduce the risk for heart disease and stroke include:
• Limit saturated fat to less than 7 percent and trans fat to less than 1 percent of daily calorie intake
• Limit cholesterol intake to less than 300 mg per day
• Limit sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day (about 1 teaspoon)
• Choose fresh, frozen and canned vegetables and fruits in light sauce/syrup, sugar-free or low-sodium varieties
• Consume whole-grain products, beans, fruits and vegetables to increase fiber
• Use liquid vegetable oils instead of solid fats
• Eat lean cuts of meat
• Grill, bake or broil fish, meat and poultry
• Choose whole fruits and vegetables in place of juices
For more information, www.startwalkingnow.org.