To the Editor:
February is American Heart Month, and as a dietitian, I think it's the perfect time to show our hearts some love. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States-but it doesn't have to be that way. Simple dietary and lifestyle choices can play a major role in fighting heart disease.
Adding more fruits and vegetables to the diet may provide extra protection against heart disease, according to a new study in the European Heart Journal. Researchers found that people who eat eight servings of fruits and vegetables each day have a 22 percent lower chance of dying from heart disease, compared with those who eat only three servings.
Previous research has found that a low-fat vegetarian diet can help prevent-and even reverse-heart disease. Vegetarian diets also help prevent obesity, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. This Valentine's Day, have a heart-to-heart with your loved ones about protecting your family's health with a nutritious plant-based diet.
Susan Levin, M.S., R.D.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine