• By Vivien Williams

Mayo Clinic Minute: ‘The Four A’s of Food for Heart Health’

March 4, 2020

Heart-healthy food plans often focus on what you should eat. Dr. Stephen Kopecky, a Mayo Clinic cardiologist, created a plan that reminds you of what to avoid. He calls the plan, "The Four A's of Food for Heart Health."

Watch: The Mayo Clinic Minute

Journalists: Broadcast-quality video (0:59) is in the downloads at the end of this post. Please "Courtesy: Mayo Clinic News Network." Read the script.

"There are four A's you need to be worried about. One is the addictive foods," says Dr. Kopecky.

Addictive foods include processed foods, such as store-bought cookies, chips and french fries.

"You get a surge of energy from the fat and the sugar in them, and you want to eat them again. The second is add-on calories," says Dr. Kopecky.

Sugary drinks and alcohol are major sources of add-on, extra calories.

"The third 'A' is automatic food. You go to the restaurant. You order, and as you're getting ready, you look at the menu. They bring you some bread. All of a sudden you say, 'Who ate all this bread?' And it was me. I ate it. And, so, you do things automatically," says Dr. Kopecky.

And the fourth "A" is adulterated food: food that looks better than it really is.

"They resemble real food, but it's the chemicals in processing that are put into these foods that make them able to be transported and last a long time on the shelf and in our pantry. But they aren't that healthy for us," says Dr. Kopecky.

So pay attention to the four A's of food for better heart health.

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