Eating balanced diet supports heart health | Local News

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The new updated dietary guidelines from the American Heart Association focus more on your overall eating habits rather than a list of no-no’s. Taking in sufficient nutrients will support your heart health and general well-being over your lifetime. Research on dietary patterns have found 14% to 28% lower cardiovascular disease mortality among U.S. adults with high compared with low adherence to high-quality dietary patterns.

Filling your diet with whole, unprocessed foods brings the most benefit — fruit and vegetables, fish and seafood, low or nonfat dairy, nuts and seeds, lean meat and poultry. Minimize your intake of salt and added sugars, especially those frequently found in processed foods. Too much salt can increase blood pressure, and too much sugar can lead to excess weight.

Nicole Gyasi, M.D., a family medicine physician with Lake Norman Medical Group, Primary Care Morrison Plantation, appreciates the message of balance in the new AHA guidelines.

“Maintaining a healthy weight through a well-balanced diet and regular physical activity has a significant impact on heart health. It’s fine to treat yourself to a dessert or packaged food once in a while; the key is to keep these treats to a modest part of your overall diet,” says Gyasi.

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Beginning with our mother’s diet before we’re born, the food and drinks we take in from infancy through adulthood build in impact on our health over time. Helping your child develop healthy eating habits early gives them a strong foundation. Prevention of pediatric obesity is key to preserving and prolonging ideal cardiovascular health.

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