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Healthful Eating

Food and Heart Health

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Let’s further explore how the foods we eat can reduce our risk of heart disease... The American Heart Association tells us that foods that are high in saturated fat can put us at a higher risk for heart disease. Watch this video about Saturated Fats from the American Heart Association:

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Fat is required in our daily diet and there are some that are beneficial to consume. However, replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats is shown to decrease our risk of cardiovascular disease. Unsaturated fats are found in foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, olives and olive oil.

Foods that contain saturated fat most often also include cholesterol - both of which increase our risk of heart disease. On the other hand, foods that contain fiber have been shown to decrease our risk. Watch this video from Nutrition Facts - Blocking the First Step of Heart Disease:

1. Record the definitions for the following terms:

a. Plaque

b. Atherosclerosis

c. Cholesterol

d. Saturated fat

2. Referencing the videos linked above, record the answers for the following:

a. List three foods we should limit to prevent arterial plaque buildup.

b. Where do we find most trans fat in our diets?

c. Which foods contain saturated fat and cholesterol?

d. Which foods contain fiber?

e. Why is it important to eat more whole plant foods to prevent heart disease?

f. Why should teens care about heart disease now? Isn’t this something that can wait until you are older?

3. Next, explore the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine’s article on Heart Disease and record three key take-aways from everything you learned today:

Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your answers!


Using the information you’ve learned, develop a heart-healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu and explain your choices. Consider plant-based options that naturally limit saturated fat, are high in fiber, and contain NO cholesterol (fruit, plant-based milks, grains, nuts/seeds, beans, veggies, etc.). Think about granola and fruit, pasta and veggies, bean tacos and burritos!


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Please follow your teacher's instructions on how to submit your work!

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Additional resources for further research:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Heart Disease Facts