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Each January, tradition dictates that you make a resolution to do something different or better in the new year. For many people, that resolution involves improving their health and appearance by eating better.
"Doctors and dietitians agree the best way to improve your diet for the long haul is to make small, specific changes," says Rebecca Mullis, R.D., Ph.D., a member of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee and head of the University of Georgia's Food and Nutrition Department. "Fad diets are simply quick fixes and some can actually hurt you in the long run. Remember the food pyramid you learned in grade school? Believe it or not, this is still a good guide for your diet."
The American Heart Association (AHA) suggests eating a wide variety of foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke-the number one and three killers in this country. However, finding foods that are heart healthy can be confusing amid all the product claims on grocery store shelves.
"The American Heart Association developed its heart-check mark to help consumers quickly and reliably find foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Shoppers can be assured that every product bearing its familiar red heart with the white checkmark meets its nutritional criteria and can be part of a heart healthy meal plan," says Dr. Mullis.
In addition to looking for AHA's heart-check mark, Dr. Mullis suggests that shoppers consider the following tips in order to fulfill any "nutrition resolutions":
To learn more about reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke through nutrition, call 1-800-AHA-USA1 for your free copy of the "Shop Smart with Heart" brochure.