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Q: What is nutrition’s role in heart disease prevention?

Posted February 05, 2014 in Advice Column, Perry

A: Evidence is mounting that a healthy diet can help protect you from some diseases. What you eat — or don’t eat — may help prevent heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, and type 2 diabetes.

To help prevent heart disease, you need to keep your blood cholesterol, blood pressure and weight under control. Healthy eating habits can help you accomplish this, as well as reduce your risk for stroke.

Experts recommend these general nutrition goals for healthy adults ages 19 and older: Your diet should include foods from all major foods groups, with special emphasis on whole fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limiting processed foods if possible.

Your diet should provide about 20 to 35 percent of daily calories from fat; only 10 percent of these fat calories should come from saturated fat. Trans fat should be 1 percent of daily calories or lower.

Physical activity should be 20 to 30 minutes at least three to five days per week.

Aim for 1.5 to 2.5 cups of a variety of whole, fresh, frozen or dried fruits and 2½ to 3½ cups of fresh, or frozen vegetables  per day. You should aim for at least three servings (3 ounces) a day of whole-grain foods. Choose low-fat dairy products fortified with vitamin D over regular products. Recommend three servings a day. Your protein should come from greens, lean meats, poultry, fish and legumes, with two servings of fish each week. Ten to 35 percent of your daily calories should come from protein.

Information provided by Medicap Pharmacy,

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