The new guidelines recommended some changes that the AHA believes doctors should take to reduce the number of heart disease-related deaths in the U.S. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 600,000 individuals die from heart disease each year, which is around one in every four deaths. It is also the leading cause of death for both men and women.
Although there were some medication recommendations, the guidelines stressed the need for doctors to urge overall healthy diets and the need to classify obesity as a disease, rather than a lifestyle issue. These guidelines were written after medical and scientific experts looked at a compilation of clinical research studies.
"These new guidelines represent the best of what scientific research can tell us about how to prevent heart disease and stroke," AHA president Mariell Jessup, MD, medical director of the Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, explained. "These recommendations will help guide the clinical decisions doctors make every day to protect their patients from two of the nation's biggest killers."
Treating obesity as a disease
The AHA stated that people are much more likely to stick with a diet and exercise regimen more effectively if it is urged as a medical issue rather than simply a lifestyle change. Although everyone's height, weight and body mass index is different, the amount of individuals who are clinically obese has become a major health problem in the U.S., with 78 million adults afflicted with the disease.
The AHA believes that since stroke and heart disease are often influenced by obesity, doctors need to start treating the condition as they would with any disease, which includes screenings and behavioral counseling. Having a trained expert explain the medical reasons why a weight loss plan is important could be just the thing to get Americans back on track to weight management.
Exercise and dietary patterns
In addition to the medical side of obesity, the AHA stressed that a healthy diet and regular exercise is key to reducing bouts of heart disease and stroke. According to the AHA, around one-third of Americans have heightened levels of bad cholesterol, and changing their eating and fitness habits could go a long way in preventing disease and improving quality of life.
"Eating a healthy diet is not about good foods and bad foods in isolation from the rest of your diet - it's about the overall diet," Dr. Robert Eckel, former AHA president and co-chair of the 19-member expert committee that wrote the guideline, explained.
Some of their recommendations included reducing sodium intake and limiting red meat and sugary foods and beverages. In addition to this, an increase in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, poultry, fish, nuts and whole grains could be excellent additions to your green coffee diet.
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