You're probably aware that the American Heart Association has issued specific guidelines for women, but we bet you can't name one of them. So we'll do it for you—eat more salmon. This certainly isn't the most appetizing way to refer to your next meal, but it is descriptive. Oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been proven to protect your heart.
Losing weight and exercising 30 minutes a day (other recommendations) may prove daunting, but eating salmon (and tuna) is certainly not a hardship. Once you polish that off, with a glass of chardonnay, check out the other guidelines:
- Folic acid is out, as it has not been proven to protect the heart, but does indeed still protect against neural tube defects.
- Aspirin is in-325 milligrams a day for women 65 and older.
- Antioxidant supplements (such as vitamins E and C and beta-carotene) shouldn't be counted on for prevention of heart disease.
- Saturated fat, which we've always been encouraged to reduce, is now recommended to account for only 7 percent of total calories a day (v.s the previous 10 percent).
- Oily fish twice a week is in, which it has been for some time, as well as fish oil supplements. Women with heart disease are encouraged to take 850 to 1,000mg of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). Women with high triglycerides should take 2-4 grams.
—By Jill Melton, Relish Editor