Understanding dietary recommendations for daily consumption is critical in understanding how to achieve maximum heart health through the food that we eat. Yet, it is important to recognize that consuming the adequate amount of vitamins and nutrients through diet alone is often challenging, and supplements may be considered to help reach optimum dietary goals. Supplements for heart health, such as fish or krill oil, are not gender biased.

They are also not a substitute for a balanced diet or eating healthy foods. Although a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods is absolutely the first step in achieving nutritional goals, sometimes supplements should be considered. For example, to achieve the daily recommended intake of omega-3 through food alone, a person would have to eat one to three servings of fish (e.g., salmon) a week. For most people, this might not be possible due to dietary, financial, or cultural choices. In these cases, supplementation can help compensate, despite the dietary deficiency.

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To achieve heart health, men and women need to understand their individual risks, the difference in disease presentation, and how to best prevent disease. Studies have shown that the cornerstone of prevention relates to our lifestyle choices such as diet and exercise.

When evaluating the optimal diet, incorporating essential nutrients is critical, as is understanding that supplementation with omega-3 may be part of it. This might be one of the few issues in which we can say that when it comes to the heart, men and women are created equal, but knowing the differences makes all the difference in the world. (197-4)