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The American College of Cardiology formally weighs in on importance of heart-healthy diet

The American College of Cardiology formally weighs in on importance of heart-healthy diet

Back when I started Step One Foods, I could count the number of cardiologists talking about food as prevention of heart disease on one hand. 

That’s slowly been changing over the years, with some of our field’s most important professional organizations finally acknowledging the importance of a whole-food, plant-based diet in reducing risk of heart disease.

The latest acknowledgement comes from the American College of Cardiology, the professional association for 52,000 cardiac care providers. Their recently published guidance on non-statin therapies highlights what we at Step One Foods have been saying for years: Lifestyle modification, especially eating a heart-healthy diet, is critically important to reducing your risk of heart disease.

The ACC states that consuming a heart-healthy diet is key both before someone starts statins and while they’re using cholesterol-lowering drug therapies. Specifically, diets should contain adequate amounts of fiber and plant sterols to affect cholesterol levels – like the amounts provided by Step One Foods.

And adherence to a healthy diet should be assessed on a regular basis, they advise. “It is critical that the clinician assess and reinforce adherence to intensive lifestyle changes”, they write. 

As you probably know, this is precisely why I made Step One Foods so easy to adhere to. As consumers of our products you saw the common sense in our approach long ago. Late as it is, it’s still gratifying to see more professional organizations catching up with the evidence-based practices we’ve built a company around.

There is much work ahead, however. Many decades of ignoring common-sense approaches to prevention has taken a toll. The ACC’s new guidance comes on the heels of an August 2022 report in the official journal of the organization, the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, that predicts that the already sky-high rates of heart disease will continue to climb over the next 30 years.

While my hope is that cardiologists put the new guidelines into practice immediately, I know that old habits die hard. It could take years -- hopefully not decades -- before cardiologists start talking about using doses of food, not just doses of drugs to manage conditions such as high cholesterol. 

In the meantime, thank you for validating our work, ACC!

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