• By Deborah Balzer

Mayo Clinic Minute: Heart-healthy diet for women

February 8, 2018

Heart disease is a leading cause of death for women. Despite increases in awareness, health officials say women remain unaware of their risks. Dr. Amy Pollak, a cardiologist at Mayo Clinic, says one way to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke is to maintain a healthy diet.

Watch: Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video pkg (1:00) is in the downloads. Read the script.

Green salad or pizza? What will you pick?

Dr. Pollak hopes you’ll go for the salad. She encourages women to choose a heart-healthy diet to reduce their risk of heart disease.

"One out of 3 women will end up dying of heart disease or stroke, which is a staggering number, and there are 43 million women living with heart disease.”

Dr. Pollak recommends the Mediterranean diet – a diet she says is rich in heart-healthy foods that offer sustained energy.

A Mediterranean diet includes, "complex carbohydrates, whole grains, fish two to three times per week; lots of fresh fruits and vegetables – really five servings per day of fruits and vegetables; a lot of olive oil; nuts like almonds and walnuts. Those are the hallmarks of the Mediterranean diet," says Dr. Pollak.

What about that pizza? Dr. Pollak says go ahead and enjoy an occasional slice, but make heart-healthy food choices more often than not.

"With time, those healthy eating choices become a habit, and it doesn’t seem cumbersome to have fish instead of a hamburger, or to reduce the amount of carbohydrates, or have less of the simple sugars in our diets.”

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