For nearly 100 years, the American Heart Association has worked to save and improve lives. Today the organization supports groundbreaking research in the fight against heart disease and in support of advancing health equity for all.
Recently, the American Heart Association released a new report on diet and heart health that highlights the 10 key features of a heart healthy eating pattern. The report emphasize how heart-healthy eating starts with thinking bigger. It reveals that it’s not just the individual foods we eat that are most important to our success. Instead of emphasizing individual “good” or “bad” foods, it guides us to focus on achieving balance—and a healthy overall dietary pattern.
The good news is that this approach isn’t complicated. It’s actually a very simple way to think about our choices in a way that can help steer all of us in a direction of a healthier life.
10 for All
The 10 features of this healthy overall dietary pattern can benefit everyone, at all stages of life. The approach is flexible and encourages us to emphasize fresh, delicious, nutrient-dense foods and to focus more on the big picture of healthy foods in our lives rather than thinking about depriving ourselves of certain individual foods or food groups.
Their 10 recommendations are truly worth taking to heart.
- Balance food and calorie intake with physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.
- Choose a wide variety and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables to get a full range of nutrients from food rather than supplements.
- Choose whole grains and other foods made up mostly of whole grains.
- Choose healthy sources of proteins mostly from plant sources (legumes and nuts); regularly eat fish and seafood; substitute nonfat and low-fat dairy products in place of full-fat versions; and for people who eat meat, choose lean cuts of meat rather than processed forms.
- Use liquid non-tropical plant oils such as olive or sunflower oils.
- Choose minimally processed foods rather than ultra-processed foods as much as possible.
- Minimize intake of beverages and foods that contain added sugars.
- Choose or prepare foods with little or no salt.
- Limit alcohol consumption; if you don’t drink, do not start; and,
- Apply this guidance no matter where food is prepared or consumed.
We’re proud of our Healthy for Life® initiative with the American Heart Association. Thanks in part to our work together, we’re making it even easier for our guests to enjoy healthy and delicious choices when they dine with us.
Whether you’re dining with us, or preparing a meal at home, our chefs and dietitians, and all of our associates, are committed to making sure you have the choices, information and support that you need to lead a healthy life.
To learn more about the American Heart Association’s recommendations, visit their website.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.