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Heart group’s rules will better fit the bill

The American Heart Association will make it a little easier this month for everyone to think healthy while thinking hungry when the group publishes a report Oct.

Friday, October 06, 2000

The American Heart Association will make it a little easier this month for everyone to think healthy while thinking hungry when the group publishes a report Oct. 31 on new dietary guidelines.

Gone are the complicated percentage math of nutrients and fats.

Now, those wishing to eat healthier can look at guidelines that read like a shopping list:

– Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains.

– Lowfat dairy products, fish, lean meats and poultry.

– Five servings of fruits and vegetables and six servings of grains daily.

– Two weekly servings of fatty fish, such as tuna or salmon. (A first for the assoctiation.)

The association’s board and leaders should be applauded for the move.

For years, many have feared they could not calculate their calories, fat grams versus protein contents and other suggested guidelines.

Now, they can follow a diet of menu items, food groups really, where even those who relish restaurants and takeout can watch what they eat – and skip the math.

That switch in thinking means big bonuses for prevention of heart disease and reduction in obesity, another target of the association.

Concentrating on the food intake will get people focusing on what’s on their plate, instead of throwing the calculator in frustration and reaching for the chips.