Friday, Feb 17, 2017
Heart disease remains the leading cause of death in the United States with more than 85 million Americans having some form of heart or cardiovascular disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as much as a quarter of all deaths from heart disease and stroke are preventable.
A healthy diet and exercise are two key components to help prevent heart disease, and with some simple lifestyle changes, everyone can keep their hearts healthy.
“You don’t have to make drastic changes to your diet or your lifestyle to gain some major health benefits,” Marcy Pugliese, a dietitian at Harbin Clinic Dialysis Rome, says. “A few simple changes can go a long way toward helping you and your family lead a heart-healthy lifestyle.”
Here are some heart-healthy tips:
Regular, moderate physical activity helps lower blood pressure and helps your body control stress and weight. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program and start with steady, incremental increases in your activity level.
Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
A good rule of thumb is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables for every meal. They contain lots of vitamins, minerals and fiber and are low in fat and calories. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables can help control both weight and blood pressure.
Cut the Salt
Prepping meals at home and shopping for reduced-sodium or no-salt-added choices can help you control and reduce your overall sodium intake. Eating less sodium can help lower the rise in blood pressure that can occur with age and help reduce the risk of heart attack, heart failure, stroke and other health problems.
Chomp on Whole Grains
Whole grains contain essential vitamins and minerals along with dietary fiber, which has been found to reduce the risk of health conditions including heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Try to add fatty fish like salmon, lake trout, albacore tuna and mackerel into your diet at least once a week. Fish is a great source of protein, is low in saturated fat and is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help strengthen healthy hearts and is beneficial to those who are at risk of or who have cardiovascular disease.
Put the Skinny on Saturated Fats and Sugars
Limit your intake of foods containing saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars and refined grains. Bad fats like saturated fats and trans fats have been shown to raise cholesterol, while too much added sugar can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Even small lifestyle changes can lead to big health gains, so take the time in February to care for your heart and it will help take care of you for years to come. To learn more about how Harbin Clinic Hearts Northwest Georgia, visit our web site at www.harbinclinic.com/hearthealth