MedChefs and the American Heart Association Dietary Guidelines

  • The American Heart Association (AHA) is committed to improving cardiovascular health of all Americans and reducing deaths from cardiovascular disease and stroke
  • The AHA has established an evidence-based guide to healthy eating.  It consist of consuming a sufficient amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains daily, a sufficient amount of fish weekly and limiting salt and sweet beverages daily.
  • The AHA has developed a dietary score to help track your dietary habits. Know what your daily score is.

What are the AHA dietary guidelines and how do they relate to MedChefs meal plans?

In 2009, the board of directors of the AHA approved the AHA 2020 Impact Goals to “improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.” In order to achieve this goal, the committee developed definitions of ideal, intermediate, and poor cardiovascular health for adults and children based on “Life’s simple 7” cardiovascular risk factors or health behaviors: 1) blood pressure, 2) physical activity, 3) cholesterol, 4) healthy diet, 5) healthy weight, 6) smoking status, and 7) blood glucose.

AHA dietary Score: five nutrition components

1) ≥ 4.5 cups/day fruits and vegetables
2) ≥ 2 servings/week fish (3.5 ounces/serving, preferably oily fish)
3) ≥3 servings/day fiber-rich whole grains (1 ounce/serving)
4) ≤ 1500 mg/day sodium
5) ≤ 450 kcals/week from sugar-sweetened beverages (≤36 ounces)

One point is awarded for compliance with each of the dietary recommendations. Diet quality is rated as follows:

0-1 points = poor quality
2-3 points = intermediate quality
4-5 points = idea quality

Although they are not scored, the AHA also recommends ≥4 servings/week of nuts, legumes, or seeds, ≤ 2 servings/week processed meats, and ≤7% of total energy intake from saturated fats.

The MedChefs’ application is designed to meet all AHA recommendations for a healthy diet with practical meal plans tailored to an individual’s preferences, restrictions, and cooking abilities. The Medchefs’ mobile-tool based on the AHA dietary guidelines can optimize enjoyable and healthy nutrition.