Purpose of review: To discuss new evidence-based dietary recommendations founded on an inclusive food strategy and to address the challenges that are posed by integrating a growing list of heart healthy foods into the diet without increasing energy intake beyond that required to achieve a healthy body weight. Recent findings: New food-based dietary recommendations issued by the American Heart Association with the objective of reducing risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) promote an inclusionary approach. The American Heart Association recommends a variety of foods to target four major goals: achieve a healthy overall diet, achieve a healthy weight, promote desirable lipid levels, and promote desirable blood pressure. Specific foods recommended include fruits and vegetables, grain products (including whole grains), fish, lean meat and poultry, fat-free or low-fat dairy products, and legumes. In addition, the new National Cholesterol Education Program Adult Treatment Panel III recommends reductions in saturated fat and cholesterol and therapeutic dietary options for enhancing LDL-cholesterol lowering, with inclusion of plant stanols/sterols (2 g/day) and increased viscous (soluble) fiber (10-25 g/day). In parallel with the evolution of new dietary recommendations is the expanding list of specific foods that have cardioprotective effects. Additional foods on this list are nuts, soy, legumes, alcohol, tea, and garlic. Summary: It will be challenging to include all foods that reduce CVD risk in the diet and still maintain energy control. Strategies are needed that facilitate developing heart healthy dietary patterns that maximally reduce CVD risk.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Molecular Biology
- Nutrition and Dietetics
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
- Cell Biology