on 2006 AHA Diet and Lifestyle Recommentations

The American Heart Associations 2006 Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations

A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight cardiovascular disease. It’s not as hard as you may think! Remember, it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts. In terms of being practical, focusing on the overall pattern of your diet is the smartest recommendation being made in these guidelines.

Eating successfully is all about the quality of the food that comprises your total food consumption. Nutrient Rich whole foods are foods of plant origin. Nutrient poor foods are foods of animal origin. They may be rich in some nutrients but as a whole they are nutrient poor. And nutrient barren foods, are foods that are ultra refined of either plant or animal origin.

The percentage of Nutrient Rich foods, nutrient poor foods and nutrient barren foods is what matters. This is the overall pattern of your diet.

Make the simple steps below part of your life for long-term benefits to your health and your heart.

Use up at least as many calories as you take in. This is true, maintaining energy balance is critical for weight management and overall health no matter what you eat, but a caloric focus is not enough because all calories are not created equal; in a bomb calorie meter yes, when calculating caloric values of foods, but in your stomach, no. There are Nutrient Rich calories and nutrient poor calories.

Start by knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. There are guidelines for this, but really you are not in charge of this, your body is, and it will let you know when to eat again and how much you should eat by giving you hungar signals. Of course you can only trust these signals, when eating a whole foods diet.

Don’t eat more calories than you know you can’t burn up every day. Increase the amount and intensity of your physical activity to match the number of calories you take in. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week or — best of all — at least 30 minutes every day. Regular physical activity can help you maintain your weight, keep off weight that you lose and help you reach physical and cardiovascular fitness. If you can’t do at least 30 minutes at one time, you can add up 10-minute sessions throughout the day. Whether or not you are going to count calories consumed and burned is not important and not very practical either. Nonetheless, this is a great recommendation. The point is to be active and use what you consume.  

Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. Here’s where all government agencies go wrong. They can’t make a stand on any economically influential points. Only the safe points are fair game for them and understandably so. Eating from "all food groups" is just a watered down way of saying eat everything in moderation. Eating all food groups or "classes" in moderation is a safe bet you’ll get a heart attack like 500,000+ Americans do each year.

Those foods that are nutrient poor and loaded with saturated fat, unhealthy protein and cholesterol, missing whole categories of nutrients such as carbohydrate, phytochemicals and fiber are sold and supported as if they are lean and great sources of nutrients…

For example, here’s a statement from the Beef Board – "The new AHA recommendations also encourage people to balance calories with healthier choices and physical activity. Each lean beef cut provides more nutrients in fewer, smarter calories than many other proteins. A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contains less than 175 calories, and is an excellent source of five essential nutrients (protein, zinc, vitamin B12, selenium and phosphorus), and a good source of four nutrients (niacin, vitamin B6, iron and riboflavin).

That’s allot of calories to take in for only 9 nutrients and it’s also going to come at a health cost.

Eating a food so you can get 9 nutrients and a whole lot of other stuff you don’ need that ultimately and negatively affects your health, is not worth it. This is the reason the overall pattern of your choices matters most.

You want to "base" your diet (the majority of it) on Nutrient Rich Whole Foods, eat small amounts of nutrient poor foods, if you eat them. Some people choose not to eat any nutrient poor foods, others in small amounts. You can still eat Nutrient Rich on a total dietary basis when you eat predominantly Nutrient Rich whole foods.

You may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. Nutrient-rich foods have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients but are lower in calories. To get the nutrients you need, choose foods like vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products and fat-free or low-fat dairy products most often. in the same set of recommendations, the truth peeks its head out – look at the order in which these foods above are listed. They are listed in terms of nutrient density; whole plant foods first, animal products second and then only the "leanest" versions. Why? Animal products are actually nutrient poor and in significant amounts, neither promote your health or a healthy weight.

Vegetables and fruits are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help you control your weight and your blood pressure.

  • Unrefined whole-grain foods contain fiber that can help lower your blood cholesterol and help you feel full, which may help you manage your weight.
  • 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. Fish is also a nutrient poor food, though rich in some nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids. Animal products by their very nature, are not whole foods. In small amounts this recommendation is sensible; people enjoy eating fish as they do other animal products.

The point is not that you "can’t" eat these foods it’s that if you eat them, you want to eat them in small quantities. Not only is the nutrient value of animal products a major point, but the pollution in fish for example (PCB’s etc) are not promoting your health…

You are not dependent on getting omega-3’s from fish. Marketing leads us to believe that. You can get omega-3 fatty acids from flax seeds, walnuts and other whole foods… even whole food supplements.

Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods.

There is a right number of calories to eat each day based on your age and physical activity level and whether you are trying to gain, lose or maintain your weight. You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you probably wouldn’t get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy. Limit foods and beverages that are high in calories but low in nutrients, and limit how much saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium you eat. Read labels carefully — the Nutrition Facts panel will tell you how much of those nutrients each food or beverage contains. All good points. According to Nutrient Rich Medical Advisor Joel Fuhrman M.D. 93% of the modern diet for most people is animal products and refined foods. This is a nutrient poor diet. (Period)

It’s not about "eating your veggies first so you can make room for some high calorie lower nutrient food, as if your diet won’t be enjoyable unless you do, it’s about eating Nutrient Rich foods in great tasting ways.

There are plenty of high calorie, Nutrient Rich foods you can eat that are just as rich or richer than nutrient poor foods. You just have to know where to get them or how to make them. There are more than you will ever get to in your lifetime.

As you make daily food choices, base your eating pattern on these recommendations:

  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
  • Select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products.
  • Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
  • Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
  • Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt.
  • Aim to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
  • Follow the American Heart Association recommendations when you eat out, and keep an eye on your portion sizes. Also, don’t smoke tobacco — and stay away from tobacco smoke This is a classic example of why people stay stuck, every recommendation in the 2006 AHA Diet and Lifestyle Guidelines below talks about what to "eat less" of. And notice, listed are all nutrient poor foods, animal products and refined foods. You don’t see one reference to whole foods in this list. That’s because Nutrient Rich foods are better.

Don’t eat less, eat better and put your focus there. It’s allot more fun. You can reverse your risk of disease, reduce the visible signs of aging and promote natural weight loss, your health will improve dramatically and you can improve your fitness and performance.

Small amounts of animal products and refined foods if you need them are not the main issue, it’s what you eat 80-90% of the time or more, that matters. You will learn all about how to eat a whole foods diet for healthy living and natural weight loss, in the Nutrient Rich, Lifestyle Starter Kit.

Learn how to eat a Nutrient Rich whole foods diet for healthy living and natural weight loss.

Once you start eating Nutrient Rich foods in great tasting ways you enjoy and that are convenient, you won’t need to be eating junk food. You will also begin to realize that eating high-calorie low-nutrient food will become the exception, not the rule as it is for most people these days.

The Nutrient Rich revolution is in full gear these days. You don’t have to focus on just eating fruits and vegetables, whole grain’s etc, raw or by themselves or in simple quick & easy ways; that’s best, but it’s also what you can do with all these foods that is so exciting.

There are so many new Nutrient Rich foods, meals and menus being produced in restaurants, by businesses and available in food stores around the country every day that it is simply amazing. You can find out about these foods at

Note: the commentary above is not about providing any medical advice. does not provide medical advice or prescribe, or diagnose. If you have a medical condition, include the advice of a medical doctor in your decisions.

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