December 1, 2022

How To Evaluate Your Diet

Let’s discuss how to evaluate your diet using the AHEI. If heart disease runs in your family, you undoubtedly attempt to maintain a balanced diet to lower your risk. However, did you know that concentrating on food combinations that have been examined for their capacity to combat the disease will help lower the chances of many chronic illnesses? These include cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease that can result in heart attacks and strokes.

Ratings are given to foods and substances that are indicative of chronic disease by the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (AHEI). The AHEI was developed by academics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health as a substitute for the US Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index. It gauges adherence to the national Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

According to McCormick, a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School, “The Healthy Eating Index and the Alternative Healthy Eating Index are similar, but the AHEI is more directed at reducing the risk of chronic disease.”

How to evaluate your diet

The AHEI assigns a score to your diet based on how frequently you consume certain items. Including both healthy and harmful fare, ranging from 0 (nonadherence) to 110 (perfect adherence).

A person who claims to consume no veggies each day would receive a zero. Conversely, someone who consumes five or more servings each day would receive a 10. For harmful options like fruit juice or drinks with added sugar, the scoring is reversed: a person who consumes 0 serves receives a 0, and 0 servings receives a 10.

 

Can you rate your own diet using the AHEI?

Using the actual AHEI score system is probably not a good idea, according to Kathy McManus, director of the nutrition department at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard affiliate. However, adding more nutritious AHEI items to your diet is simple.

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