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Fitness & Healthfulness Are Not the Same Thing...

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Photo - We couldn't find a photo that worked with this post, so we inserted this shot Chrissie Wellington's calves. 

By Nancy Clark, MS, RD (beginnertriathlete.com)

Nutrition advice for those who run fast, bike far, but can't say no to cookies

As he indulged in a jumbo sugar-covered fried pastry, the runner unabashedly remarked, “I’m skinny; I can eat this.” Well, the truth is even skinny runners die suddenly of heart attacks and strokes. Heart disease is the number-one killer, ahead of cancer, and accounts for one in four deaths. No one can out-run a bad diet.

While we’ve all heard let food be thy medicine, the latest dietary advice from the American Heart Association (AHA) focuses less on individual foods and nutrients (such as eggs, meat, fat, sodium) and more on lifestyle and lifelong dietary patterns. Given cardiovascular disease (CVD) starts in the womb, adopting heart-healthy eating patterns early and maintaining them...

throughout one’s life is important. Thankfully, the same food plan that invests in heart health invests in sports performance—as well as reduced risk of type II diabetes, mental decline, and environmental issues.

Below are the latest AHA dietary guidelines. Because these guidelines are targeted to the “general public,” runners might want to make a few appropriate tweaks to support optimal sports performance.

1. Adjust energy intake and expenditure to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight

Most triathletes do a good job with weight control. Just remember, large portions of even “heart healthy” foods can contribute to weight gain.  READ MORE

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