More fruits and vegetables can improve health

The American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good™ and Fresh Avocados – Love One Today® share tips, recipes during National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month

June 08, 2017 Categories: Program News

DALLAS, June 8, 2017 — Recent estimates show about 10 percent or fewer U.S. adults and children get the recommended 4.5 cups of total fruits and vegetables per day.[1] The American Heart Association, the world’s leading voluntary organization dedicated to building healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke, continues its efforts to change attitudes and behaviors about nutrition during its first-ever Healthy for Good Movement™ campaign supporting National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month in June.

“The Healthy For Good movement is designed to equip and empower individuals to take small steps today to make a big difference tomorrow,” said Annessa Chumbley, registered dietitian and American Heart Association spokesperson. “Regardless of where you are in your health and wellness journey, Healthy For Good can inspire and motivate you with simple and creative snacking options or ‘better-for-you versions’ of your favorite meals.”

During the month of June, Healthy For Good and its national recipe host, Fresh Avocados – Love One Today®, will share more than 20 new, fun and easy recipes via heart.org/recipes, as well as a variety of tips and materials on Healthy for Good’s Facebook and Twitter channels. Recipes will showcase how to add more healthy vegetables and fruit like fresh avocados to reduce bad fats and lower daily cholesterol and sodium intake. Additional resources, including a new Cooking in Color booklet with an array of smart options, are available at shopheart.org.

Currently, less than 1 percent of Americans meet the American Heart Association’s definition of ideal cardiovascular health, due primarily to poor diet. In fact, poor diet was the single leading contributor to premature death in the United States in 2010.[2] Today, nearly two in three American adults and one in three American children are overweight or obese.[3,4]

Dietary habits contribute to multiple cardiovascular risk factors including blood cholesterol, blood sugar, and blood pressure. At the same time, fruits and vegetables are an important part of a heart healthy dietary pattern. A recent review concluded that increasing the portions of fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. [5]

For a 2,000 calorie diet, the American Heart Association recommends 2 cups of fruits and 2.5 cups of vegetables each day. The average American adult consumes around 1 to 1.5 cups of each daily. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimated that if Americans ate just one more serving of fruits or vegetables per day, more than 30,000 lives could be saved.

To join Healthy For Good, visit heart.org/healthyforgood.

###

About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke –  the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

[1] Benjamin EJ et al; on behalf of the American Heart Association Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2017 update: a report from the American Heart Association [published online ahead of print January 25, 2017]. Circulation. p. e82-84. doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000485. [2] Lloyd-Jones DM et al; American Heart Association Strategic Planning Task Force and Statistics Committee. Defining and setting national goals for cardiovascular health promotion and disease reduction: the American Heart Association’s strategic Impact Goal through 2020 and beyond. Circulation. 2010; 121:586–613. doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192703.[3] Flegal KM et al; Trends in obesity among adults in the United States, 2005 to 2014. JAMA. 2016; 315:2284–2291. doi: 10.1001/jama.2016.6458. [4] Fryar CD et al; Prevalence of Overweight and Obesity Among Children and Adolescents Aged 2–19 Years: United States, 1963–1965 Through 2013–2014. Health E-Stats. July 2016. [5] He, F.J. et al; Increased consumption of fruit and vegetables is related to a reduced risk of coronary heart disease: meta-analysis of cohort studies. J Hum Hypertens, 2007. 21(9): p. 717-28. DOI: 10.1038/sj.jhh.1002212.

For Media Inquiries:

Alejandra Vecchini : (214) 706-4853; alejandra.vecchini@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: (800)-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and strokeassociation.org