SPECIAL TO THE MERCURYEat nutritious foods. It’s a simple statement, indeed, but not always easy to live by.
As the obesity rate in America continues to bulge, doctors and researchers plug along at educating the masses about the link between bad diet and heart disease – the No. 1 killer in the United States.
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the quantity of fruit and vegetables in diets was more important than the variety.
Researchers followed 120,000 people for more than 20 years, during which about 6,000 developed heart disease. The people who ate the most fruits and vegetables had a 17 percent lower risk, particularly the people who added more citrus fruit and green leafy vegetables.
The chart below with recommendations from the American Heart Association offers a global glance into what you should – and shouldn’t – be eating to help your chances of avoiding heart disease.
|Fruits and vegetables: At least four-and-a-half cups per day|
|Fish (preferably oily fish): At least two three-and-a-half-ounce servings a week|
|Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three one-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 four servings a week|
|Processed meats: No more than two servings a week|
|Saturated fat: Less than seven percent of total energy intake|