The American Heart Association and the American Diabetes Association each published guidelines for cardiovascular disease prevention.

Now, they have combined their guidelines, and here are highlights from the recommended lifestyle modifications.


  • In the obese, 7% to 10% body weight loss in a year is attainable.
  • Efforts to achieve ideal body weight quickly usually fail.
  • Weight maintenance is preferable to weight gain.

Medical nutrition therapy

  • Taking antioxidant vitamins, B vitamins to lower homocysteine, or specific fatty acids (such as omega-3 fatty acids) is not recommended for healthy persons.
  • The strongest data for benefit are with omega-3 fatty acids in people with established heart disease, and 1 gram/day is recommended for these patients.
  • Vitamin E, folate, and B vitamins, as well as other antioxidants such as beta-carotene or antioxidant cocktails, have not shown benefit.

Physical activity

  • At least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or at least 90 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week is recommended.
  • Diabetics should perform 30 to 60 minutes of moderate aerobic activity such as brisk walking on most (preferably all) days of the week, supplemented by an increase in daily lifestyle activities (eg, walking breaks during the workday, gardening, and household work).

Check with your doctor before you do any of this.

4/8/07 22:59 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.