February is American Heart Month


February is American Heart Month.... You may not know, but the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States is Heart Disease. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

The good news is heart disease can often be prevented when people make healthy choices and manage their health conditions.

By keeping the below information in mind, we can help ourselves and our families make healthier choices. Use up at least as many calories as you take in.

  • Start by knowing how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight. The Nutrition and Calorie information on food labels is typically based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
  • Don’t eat more calories than you know you can burn up every day.
  • Increase the amount and intensity of your physical activity to match the number of calories you take in.
  • Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity each week.
  • Lowering your blood pressure or cholesterol with 40 minutes of aerobic exercise including moderate to vigorous intensity 3-4 times a week.
Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. You may be eating plenty of food, but your body may not be getting the nutrients it needs to be healthy. The nutrient-rich foods shown below may help you control your weight, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
  • Variety of fruits and vegetables without high-calorie sauces or added salt
  • Whole Grains
  • Low-fat dairy (1%) dairy products
  • Skinless poultry and fish (salmon, trout)
  • Nuts and legumes
  • Non –tropical vegetable oils
heartveggieLimit your intake of saturated fat, trans-fat, sodium, red meat, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Choose foods with less sodium and prepare foods with little or no salt. To lower blood pressure, aim to eat no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium per day.

Reducing daily intake to 1,500 mg is desirable because it can lower blood pressure even further. If you can’t meet these goals right now, even reducing sodium intake by 1,000 mg per day can benefit blood pressure.

Eat less of the nutrient-poor foods. The right number of calories to eat each day is based on your age and physical activity level. You could use your daily allotment of calories on a few high-calorie foods and beverages, but you probably wouldn’t get the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.

Don’t lose sight of your targets when you eat out, keep an eye on your portion sizes and choose from the menu wisely.

It’s not only what you eat.

If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman and no more than two drinks per day if you’re a man. And it usually goes without saying... Don’t smoke tobacco — and avoid secondhand smoke.

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