Diet & Lifestyle
Better eating habits and food choices can help you reduce your risk for heart attack.
A heart-healthy eating plan means choosing the right foods to eat and preparing them differently.
When selecting foods, it is important to remember the amount of total fat, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and sodium these foods may add to your daily menu. Choose foods low in saturated fatty acids, cholesterol and sodium. Reading labels and ingredient statements is a way to discover what is contained in a product.
To take the first step in heart-healthy nutrition, follow these dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association:
- Total fat intake should be no more than 30 percent of calories
- Saturated fatty acid intake should be less than 10 percent of calories
- Polyunsaturated fatty acid intake should be 8 to 10 percent of calories
- Monounsaturated fatty acids make up the rest of the total fat intake, about 10 to 15 percent of total calories
- Cholesterol intake should be less than 300 milligrams per day
- Sodium intake should be no more than 2,400 milligrams (2.4 grams) per day
The American Heart Association suggests these guidelines for healthy Americans 2 years of age and older. Growing children and teenagers have special needs. You must be sure they get enough energy (calories) and nutrients each day.
If you or others in your family are pregnant or breastfeeding or have a medical disorder such as diabetes, talk to your doctor or a Registered Dietitian about your special dietary needs.
Consultations with Registered Dietitians are available though Huntsville Hospital's Wellness Center. Call 265-7100 to set up an appointment.
The Wellness Center offers a variety of ways to incorporate exercise and fitness in to your life. Plus, it is backed by the resources of Huntsville Hospital's medical expertise. For Information see the Wellness Center Losing weight isn't easy, but a healthy diet combined with the right kinds of exercise can reduce your weight and your risk of heart disease. Huntsville Hospital's Wellness Center offers a unique program that combines both of these in a weekly class format.