Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death of Americans.
Also called coronary heart disease, heart disease involves the buildup of a waxy substance called plaque inside the blood vessels of the heart. That buildup can cause blockages that lead to heart attacks. Or over time the blockages can weaken your heart muscle and lead to heart failure or irregular heart rhythms. But the risk of these outcomes may be lowered by following your health care provider’s advice. Treating heart disease may include changing lifestyle habits, including your eating habits, taking medication, and undergoing medical procedures such as putting stents in clogged arteries. Adopting a healthy diet is an important way to help prevent or delay the impact of heart disease.
Guidelines for heart health encourage people to eat a diet that:
• Emphasizes vegetables, fruits and whole grains
• Includes low-fat dairy, poultry, fish, legumes, non-tropical vegetable oils and nuts
• Limits sodium, sweets, sugary beverages and red meats
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