To address the prevalence of heart disease, the Ponte Vedra YMCA has begun offering a variety of programs and services focused on heart health nutrition. In an “Ask the Expert” session Feb. 20, registered and licensed dietitian Kelly Schooley, RDN, advised attendees to monitor their fat, fiber and sodium intake if they wish to practice heart-healthy eating.
Regarding fats, Schooley said it is best to eliminate trans fats from one’s diet, and to limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of one’s caloric intake, or less than 20 grams total. Instead, Schooley suggested choosing healthy fats, which include monounsaturated fats (olive and canola oil, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts and avocado) and omega 3 fatty acids (flax or chia seeds, walnuts and fish).
As for fiber, Schooley advised that the goal should be to consume at least 25 grams of soluble and insoluble fiber daily. Sodium intake, on the other hand, should be watched closely, she said, limited to less than 2,300 milligrams per day, or less than 1,500 milligrams for adults with high blood pressure.