The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and United State’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) was created to promote health and prevent disease. Since 1980, it has been updated every 5 years. Researchers at Tufts sought to determine whether meeting the 2005 DGA was associated with less atherosclerotic lesion progression in women that already had established coronary artery disease (CAD). 224 women enrolled in the Estrogen Replacement and Atherosclerosis Study were assessed. Progression of atherosclerosis was measured over a three-year period and adherence to the DGA was measured by using the DGA Adherence Index (DGAI).
Unfortunately, no women consumed a diet that met all of the DGA recommendations. However, the DGAI score was not associated with atherosclerosis progression. The researchers concluded that under the assumption that all of the Dietary Guideline recommendations are equally weighted; overall adherence to the DGA is associated with slower progression.
An abbreviation of the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans are as follows. For a more detailed description of the DGA, visit www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines.
- Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
- To maintain weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.
- Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and healthy body weight.
- Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs.
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fat, less than 300 milligrams a day of dietary cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid intake as low as possible.
- Choose fiber rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains often.
- Consume less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day.
- Those who drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation – defined as the consumption of one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.
- Follow proper hand washing and food preparation technique to promote food-safety and prevent foodborne illness.
Resource: Fumiaki Imamura, Paul F Jacques, David M Herrington, Gerard E Dallal and Alice H Lichtenstein. Adherence to 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans is associated with a reduced progression of coronary artery atherosclerosis in women with established coronary artery disease. AJCN. 2009;90:193-201.
Written by Melissa Ohlson, MS, RD, LD, Preventive Cardiology and Rehabilitation.
Get more information on nutrition strategies. To make an appointment with a registered dietitian, call Cleveland Clinic Preventive Cardiology - 216.444.9353 or 800.223.2273 ext. 9353. Or, get a nutrition consultation online with our private and secure MyConsult Nutrition Consultation.
Can't find the health information you’re looking for?