Meet the new dietary guidelines

Meet the new dietary guidelines

(NAPS)-The numbers can seem scary: More than 81 million Americans have cardiovascular disease (CVD) and more than 23 million have diabetes, which is a strong risk factor for CVD. There are, however, simple steps you can take to help keep yourself and your family out of such statistics, according to the new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010.
"Heart disease can be prevented 80 percent of the time with a healthy lifestyle," noted Suzanne Steinbaum, D.O., cardiologist and director of women's heart health, Heart and Vascular Institute, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York. "An ounce of prevention by choosing the right types of fat, carbohydrate and protein as well as physical activity can lead to a pound of cure ... without extra pounds."
Here are tips on how:
* Eat a balanced diet of nutrient-dense foods, mainly plant based.
* Be mindful of portion sizes and total daily calories.
* Eat two servings of fish a week and choose lean meats.
* Aim to be physically active at least 30 minutes a day.
* Don't smoke and try to avoid secondhand smoke.
* Get adequate sleep and minimize stress.
* Make simple dietary swaps like water instead of soda pop, skim or fat-free dairy products in place of full-fat versions and canola oil rather than other oils or solid fat.
The government's new dietary guidelines call for saturated fat intake to be less than 10 percent of total daily calories, replacing those calories with unsaturated fat. Lowering saturated fat intake to 7 percent of total daily calories can further reduce the risk of CVD.
"The key to lowering risk of both heart disease and type 2 diabetes is to replace saturated fat with health-promoting mono- and polyunsaturated fats," said Jim Painter, Ph.D., R.D., chair, School of Family and Consumer Sciences, Eastern Illinois University. "Such replacement decreases total and 'bad' LDL cholesterol, improves insulin responsiveness and reduces markers of inflammation. However, replacing saturated fat with refined or sugar-dense carbohydrates may actually have the opposite effect."
Fortunately, there's an everyday cooking oil that perfectly fits the dietary guidelines: canola oil. With the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils, canola oil delivers on heart health. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil regarding its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat. The types of fat consumed are more important in influencing the risk of CVD than the total amount of fat in the diet.
For more information, go to www.canolainfo.org, Facebook. com/canolainfo or Twitter.com/ canolainfo.