NetWellness is a global, community service providing quality, unbiased health information from our partner university faculty. NetWellness is commercial-free and does not accept advertising.
Friday, September 19, 2014
Whether or not you have a family history of heart disease, it is a good idea to follow a heart-healthy diet. Heart disease is the nation's No. 1 killer.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) offers the following advice about using the Nutrition Facts label to choose heart-healthy foods:
Fiber may help lower your risk of heart disease.
When using the Nutrition Facts label, look for the nutrient's "% Daily Value." The general rule is:
There is no Daily Value for trans fats, so take a look at the total amount of trans fat on the label. The idea is just to keep trans fats as low as possible in your diet.
Be mindful of serving sizes. If you are eating two servings, do not forget to double the percentages!
You can also look on food labels for official health claims about heart health. These claims have passed muster with the FDA because science has shown that the nutrients mentioned reduced the risk of heart disease. Official heart-healthy claims include:
Additional ways for choosing and preparing foods aimed at a healthy heart include:
Eat fish at least twice a week.
Recent research shows that eating oily fish containing omega-3 fatty acids (for example, salmon, trout and herring) may help lower your risk of death from coronary artery disease.
Pregnant or breast feeding women should eat at least 12 ounces of fresh fish each week.
Many research studies are underway to help us learn about heart disease. Would you like to find out more about being part of this exciting research? Please visit the following links:
This article originally appeared in Chow Line, a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission.
Last Reviewed: Aug 07, 2014
Daniel T. Remley, MSPH, PhD
Field Specialist, Food, Nutrition, & Wellness
College of Food, Agricultural, & Environmental Science
The Ohio State University