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Highlight on American Heart Association-Healthy Diet Goals

Posted on June 30th, 2010 | Posted in Healthy Tips, Recipes

The American Heart Association has set the goal that by 2020 they want to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing deaths from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent.

In an effort to reach this goal they highlight what an adult consuming 2,000 calories daily diet should consist of:

  • Fruits and vegetables: At least 4.5 cups a day
  • Fish (preferably oily fish): At least two 3.5-ounce servings a week
  • Fiber-rich whole grains: At least three 1-ounce-equivalent servings a day
  • Sodium: Less than 1,500 mg a day
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: No more than 450 calories (36 ounces) a week

Other Dietary Measures:

  • Nuts, legumes and seeds: At least 4 servings a week
  • Processed meats: No more than 2 servings a week
  • Saturated fat: Less than 7% of total energy intake

The American Heart Association recommends that you eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily.  We post this in an effort to assist restaurants and consumers to make healthy dining choices and to evaluate how your current diet aligns with the recommended daily diet.  Remember, even simple, small changes can make a big difference in living a better life.

Here is a recipe of a heart healthy salad that you can enjoy at a summer picnic or as a side dish in your packed lunch!

Edamame Penne Salad with Feta

Serves 4


4-ounce Penne Pasta (991533)
2 cups frozen shelled Edamame (green soybeans), thawed (559654)
1/2 15-ounce can no-salt-added Black Beans, rinsed and drained (991645)
1/2 cup chopped Green Onions
2 tablespoons snipped fresh Parsley
1 tablespoon grated Lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh Lemon juice (990323)
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil (992055)
2 medium Garlic Cloves, whole/chopped (991057/991058)
1/2 teaspoon dried Rosemary, crushed (CQR039)
1/4 teaspoon Salt (CQS030)
3 ounces Feta Cheese, crumbled (774395)


Prepare the pasta using the package directions, omitting the salt and oil. Drain in a colander. Run the pasta under cold water for about 20 seconds to stop the cooking process. Drain well in a colander.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients except the feta. Using a rubber scraper, fold the pasta and feta into the mixture.

If you make this salad to enjoy the next day or have leftovers, squeeze lemon wedges over it just before serving to “brighten” the flavors.

Visit American Heart Association’s website for more healthy lifestyle recommendations.