What Is the Step One Diet?

The Step 1 diet is a set of guidelines that the American Heart Association once recommended to help most people lower their risk of cardiovascular disease. The Step 2 diet provided guidelines for higher-risk individuals such as those with lipid disorders, diabetes or pre-existing heart disease. The AHA no longer uses the Step 1 or Step 2 guidelines and in 2000, issued a set of new guidelines 1.

The Step 1 diet recommended that you should consume no more than 30 percent of total calories from fats. It also advised that no more than one-third of those fat calories should come from saturated fats such as those found in butter, red meat and cheese. The plan also recommended that you should eat no more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day, regardless of calorie consumption. Total protein is limited to 6 ounces per day, with an emphasis on consuming lean options such as egg whites and seafood. The newer guidelines include the same fat and cholesterol recommendations, but also focus on eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains, exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight.