Nutritional assessment and counseling for prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; Department of Family Medicine and Community Health

Publication Date


Document Type



Cardiovascular Diseases; *Counseling; Food Habits; Guidelines; Humans; *Nutrition Assessment; Nutrition Policy; Questionnaires


Cardiovascular Diseases | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dietetics and Clinical Nutrition


Physicians face several barriers to counseling their patients about nutrition, including conflicting evidence of the benefit of counseling, limited training and understanding of the topic, and imperfect and varied guidelines to follow. Because cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of death in industrialized nations, family physicians should provide more than pharmacologic interventions. They must identify the patient's dietary habits and attitudes and provide appropriate counseling. Tools are available to help, and a seven-step approach to nutritional therapy for the dyslipidemic patient may be useful. These steps include recommending increased intake of plant proteins; increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids; modification of the types of oils used in food preparation; decreased intake of saturated and trans-fatty acids; increased intake of whole grains and dietary fiber (especially soluble fiber) and decreased intake of refined grains; modification of alcohol intake, if needed; and regular exercise. Recommendations should be accompanied by patient information handouts presenting acceptable substitutions for currently identified detrimental food choices.


Am Fam Physician. 2006 Jan 15;73(2):257-64.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American family physician

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID