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Fitness and Nutrition

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Heart healthy eating

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What you eat affects your risk for having heart disease and poor blood circulation, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Heart disease is the #1 killer and stroke is the #3 killer of American women and men.

To help you prevent heart disease and stroke, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has developed three heart healthy eating plans:

  • Heart Healthy Diet is for people who do not have heart disease and want to keep their blood cholesterol levels at healthy levels. Unhealthy cholesterol levels can, in time, lead to heart disease.
  • Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes (TLC) Diet is for people with unhealthy blood cholesterol levels.
  • Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan is for people with high blood pressure, or hypertension. Hypertension can raise your risk of heart disease and stroke.

For more information on these eating plans, see our Heart Healthy Eating Fact Sheet.

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Content last updated: June 17, 2008.

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