Healthy Heart Diet Gets Thumbs Up

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released exciting news for overweight Americans who have exhausted their search for the perfect way to lose weight and keep it off.

While there are as many diet books on the market as dessert recipes, Americans are fascinated with both eating and losing weight. A massive list of diet books can be found on any book seller’s website from The Atkins Diet to the Raw Food Diet, among countless others.

Which one is the right diet? A relentless quest, this could be the ultimate challenge for obese and overweight adults: how to succeed in losing weight without having to think too hard or work out too long.

Healthy Diet Plan

“Regardless of fat, protein, and carbohydrate content, heart-healthy, reduced-calorie diets promote long-term weight loss,” says a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the NIH, published February 26, 2009 in the New England Journal of Medicine.

What does this mean to the average overweight individual? The results of this study have shown that “as long as people follow a heart-healthy, reduced-calorie diet, there is more than one nutritional approach to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight,” as explained by Elizabeth G. Nabel, M.D., director, NHLBI, in the NIH News article dated February 25, 2009.

It’s not about eating a high or low protein, high or low carbohydrate diet, it’s really all about eating heart-healthy foods while consuming lower calorie amounts. What makes a food ‘heart-healthy’? Heart-healthy foods are low in saturated fat and cholesterol while high in fiber.

Best Diets

A heart-healthy diet affords individuals a more flexible choice of food items. It allows wiggle room for personal preferences while working with the health needs of individuals suffering the effects of being morbidly obese, overweight or diabetic.

With a wide variety of foods to choose from, hopefully dieters will find it easier to stick with this plan for ultimate long-term health benefits and weight loss.

This study also required the participants to perform a minimum of 90 minutes of exercise per week. In many cases, adults will need to move more to remove more. But before starting a new exercise or diet plan, as is always recommended, do see your physician to rule out any unknown problem or illness first.

Heart Healthy Foods and Recipes

At the NIH website, dieters can find many different suggestions for heart-healthy foods and recipes. There are recipes in the Keep the Beat section which can be downloaded for free. The following Stay Young at Heart recipe can be found among many others at the NIH website to help jump-start a new way of eating.

Chicken Marsala


  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 chicken breasts, boned, skinless
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Marsala wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock, skim fat from top
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped


  1. Mix together pepper, salt and flour. Coat chicken with seasoned flour.
  2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Place chicken breasts in skillet and brown on both sides. Then remove chicken and set aside.
  3. To the skillet, add wine and stir until wine is heated. Add squeezed lemon juice, chicken stock and mushrooms. Stir to toss, reduce heat, and cook for about 10 minutes until the sauce in partially reduced.
  4. Return browned chicken breasts to skillet. Spoon sauce over the chicken.
  5. Cover and cook for about 5-10 minutes or until chicken is done.
  6. Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley.
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Calories: 277
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Sat. fat: 2 g
  • Cholesterol: 77 mg
  • Sodium: 304 mg

More than one-third of all American adults were obese in 2005-2006 (over 72 million people) according to the Centers for Disease Control website. There is no time like the present to create a new foundation of healthy living and eating habits which will, hopefully, last a lifetime.


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