Eat for life? Eat to
improve your chances long and healthy
At a time when we seem to be overwhelmed by
conflicting diet and health messages, the National
Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Heart, Lung, and
Blood Institute (NHLBI) have some good news: by making
the right food choices, you may reduce your risk of
developing cardiovascular disease and cancer.
These diseases take the lives of more Americans than all
other illnesses and causes of death combined. Each day,
about three out of every four deaths in the United
States will occur as a result of cardiovascular disease
or heart disease (like heart attacks and strokes) and
cancer. This need not be. Although no diet can ensure
you won't get a heart attack, stroke or cancer, what you
eat can affect your health. This has been shown by
research of the National Cancer Institute and the
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (two of this
country's National Institutes of Health), along with the
research of other scientists.
How does a person
eat for life? It's easier and more enjoyable than you
might think. The practical ideas in this booklet show
you how to make healthful, tasty, and appetizing food
choices at home and when you're eating out. They are
consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans,
published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These
seven basic guidelines are:
* Eat a variety of
* Maintain desirable weight.
* Avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and
* Eat foods with adequate starch and fiber.
Avoid too much sugar.
* Avoid too much sodium.
* If you drink
alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
The first two guidelines form the framework of a
good diet: eat a variety of foods so that you get enough
of the essential nutrients you need, and eat only enough
calories to maintain desirable weight. The next five
guidelines describe special characteristics of a good
diet-getting adequate starch and fiber and avoiding too
much fat, sugar, sodium, and alcohol. Although the
guidelines are designed for healthy adult Americans,
these suggestions are considered especially appropriate
for people who may already have some of the risk factors
for chronic diseases. These risk factors include a
family history of obesity, premature heart disease,
diabetes, high blood pressure, or high blood cholesterol
This pamphlet focuses on five guidelines that are
particularly related to the prevention of heart disease
and/or cancer: eat a variety of foods; maintain
desirable weight; avoid too much fat, saturated fat, and
cholesterol; eat foods with adequate starch and fiber;
and avoid too much sodium.
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