8 Tips for Better Heart Health

raspbchocbites2World Heart Day is celebrated all around the nation on September 29th! World Heart Day, created by the World Heart Federation, is one of the biggest platforms to raise awareness of Cardiovascular Disease. Heart disease and stroke are the world’s leading causes of death. Every year about 17.3 million people die from heart disease and stroke. The foundation wants everyone to understand how they can fuel their hearts and power their lives. Your heart is the essence of your being, so we should be giving it the care it deserves.


8 Tips to help lower your risk of Cardiovascular Disease:


  1. Lower your intake of Saturated Fats and Cholesterol: According to the American Heart Association, a low fat and low cholesterol diet is recommended. When purchasing meat and poultry you should always choose the leanest option. Choose meats that are labeled as “choice” or “select”, as they will have less fat than ones labeled “prime”, and with the least amount of visible fat (marbling).  Examples of these include: sirloin and round cuts.  Poultry is always a great option for a low-fat meat!


  1. Include more healthy fats into your diet: Healthy fats include the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil and avocado, and omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish like salmon, herring and mackerel. Eat fatty fish at least two times per week to help lower your blood triglyceride levels.


  1. Include more Fruits, Veggies and Whole Grains: Vegetables and fruits provide a large amount of fiber, vitamins and minerals, which are all important. Consume a variety of fruits and vegetables daily to help control your weight and blood pressure. Whole grains contain healthy amounts of fiber which aids in controlling your cholesterol levels.


  1. Reduce Sodium intake: Sodium intake should be no more than 2300 mg/day. Did you know 1 teaspoon of salt has 2300 mg of sodium?  At home, try to avoid using salt while cooking, and stay away from the salt shaker at the table. When in the grocery store, choose foods that are “low sodium”, which means they have 140 mg per serving or less, by reading the food label.  Salt is routinely added to canned foods, frozen meals, cured meats, sauces, salad dressings and instant oatmeal, so be sure to read their labels!


  1. Follow these Heart Healthy Cooking Tips.


  1. Avoid smoking at all costs: Smoking is directly linked to heart disease and is something that should be taken seriously. You increase your risk of developing heart disease with every cigarette.


  1. Exercise Daily: Exercise at least 30 minutes per day every week. This will help lower your risk of heart disease tremendously!


  1. Visit your doctor: Get a checkup regularly with your physician to make sure your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are in check.



Remember that heart disease is preventable. You can protect your heart and the heart of those close to you. Get your community involved in making some heart healthy changes like:


  • Adding more community trails that promote more physical activity in your neighborhood.
  • Have schools provide quality physical education and healthy meal options.
  • Have your place of work provide heart healthy options in the cafeteria.
  • Encourage workplaces and communities to be smoke free.



Your turn to take action: What will you do this week to lower your risk of heart disease?




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