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Heart Attack, Bypass Patients Need to Focus on Fruits, Vegetables

separator People who have had heart attacks and bypass operations often learn to eliminate a lot of the fat in their diet, but they may not be focusing enough on getting beneficial fruits and vegetables every day. A small study looked at 118 patients in a 12-week cardiac rehabilitation program. The patients received individual attention from a dietitian and learned about reducing dietary fat, salt and fiber, increasing fruit and vegetable intake, using spices to improve the taste of food and making heart-healthy choices at restaurants.

After two years, 87 percent of the patients were doing well at keeping their fat intake low, but only 23 percent were eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This could be because many people already are aware that doctors promote a lower fat diet for heart health. It’s possible that many heart patients are not as aware of the importance of eating fruits and vegetables.

Making changes to reduce the harmful fats in your diet is an extremely important part of a heart healthy lifestyle, but everybody needs to know that getting a variety of fruits and vegetables every day should also be a part of your new eating plan.

American Journal of Health Promotion, July/August 2003,
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