You might think you follow a heart-healthy diet. But have you ever put your habits to the test? Take our quiz to learn how heart-smart your food choices are. Choose the answer that best reflects your diet. If you discover that your daily meals could use a heart-healthy tune-up, consider following our simple tips to improve.
1. How many fruits and veggies do you eat?
2. How often do you eat fish?
3. What guides your food choices?
4. How varied is your diet?
5. What types of grains do you choose?
6. Where do you get your protein?
7. What type of milk do you drink?
8. How often do you drink soda or other sugary beverages?
9. How often do you eat pre-packaged convenience foods or fast foods?
10. How often do you get heart-health screenings?
If you answered mostly A’s, your meals are in need of a heart-healthy makeover. Take the time to protect your heart and learn why it’s important to adopt the diet and lifestyle recommendations of the American Heart Association (AHA). Remember that eating a lot of high-calorie foods may lead to weight gain or obesity. Carrying too much weight is a significant risk factor for heart disease. It’s simple to estimate how many calories you need each day—the AHA even provides a helpful calculator tool. It’s time to start enjoying more fruits and vegetables with every meal; make it a goal to fill up half your plate with these items. Add whole grains to your daily diet, along with lean protein choices, like chicken and fish. Opt for low-fat dairy options whenever you can and begin to limit your intake of sugary drinks. If you haven’t had a physical in more than a year, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Be sure to ask about any heart-health screenings you need to have, too.
If you answered mostly B’s, you’re on the right track—but you could do more to follow the AHA’s tips for heart-healthy living. Maybe you need to focus on portion control. Perhaps you could benefit from more fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, or low-fat dairy products. Or it may be a good idea for you to lose a few pounds. Whatever you need to work on, it’s worth the effort to enjoy improved heart health for years to come.
If you answered most C’s, congratulations! You are making a lot of heart-healthy choices. Keep up your excellent efforts by learning if there’s anything more you could do to meet all of the AHA’s diet and lifestyle recommendations. Your heart will thank you!