2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

Title: Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk

Year released: 2013

Societies: American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology


The AHA and the ACC made evidence-based recommendations on heart-healthy eating and exercise patterns that lower LDL cholesterol and blood pressure (BP).

Dietary recommendations

The guidelines recommended consuming a diet of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, including low-fat dairy products, poultry, fish, legumes, nontropical vegetable oils and nuts to reduce LDL cholesterol and BP. They also recommend reducing intake of sweets, sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat.

The AHA/ACC recommend following plans such as Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), the USDA Food Pattern or the AHA Diet, which have been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and BP.

Specifically, in adults who would benefit from a reduced LDL, the guidelines recommend a diet that derives 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat and reduced calories from saturated and trans fats.

To reduce BP, the guidelines recommend lowering sodium intake to no more than 2,400 mg per day. However, the guidelines state reducing sodium intake by even 1,000 to 1,500 mg per day will confer benefit.

Exercise recommendation

The AHA/ACC recommend engaging in moderate to vigorous aerobic physical activity for a duration of about 40 minutes per session, three to four times per week, to lower both lipids and BP.

Read more:

Eckel RH, et al. Circulation. 2013;doi:10.1161/01.cir.0000437740.48606.d1.

Cardiology Today coverage: https://www.healio.com/cardiology/chd-prevention/news/online/%7bbb1ba7f9-3423-424b-9bf3-d825c21dc632%7d/new-lifestyle-guideline-emphasizes-heart-healthy-diet-physical-activity