February is Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. In fact, 1 in 4 deaths each year are caused by heart disease. Although you may find this alarming, there is some good news! Heart disease can often be prevented. It’s all about making healthy choices.
- Eat a healthy diet by following MyPlate – Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet as well as whole grains, low-fat or non-fat dairy, and lean sources of protein. Choose foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber. Limit sodium in your diet to keep your blood pressure in check. To find out more about healthy food choices, visit chosemyplate.gov.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Your risk for heart disease increases if you are obese or overweight. To help determine if your weight is in a healthy range, you can calculate your BMI (Body Mass Index) here.
- Exercise Regularly – Not only does physical activity help you maintain your weight, it also helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Check out my blog post on Feeling Fit for more information about how much and what types of exercise you should be doing.
- Don’t smoke – Your risk for heart disease is greatly increased by smoking cigarettes. Visit the Center for Disease Control for tips to quit smoking.
- Limit alcohol use. Too much alcohol causes high blood pressure and takes a toll on your heart health. If you would like more information on alcohol and heart health, you can visit the website for the American Heart Association.
Reduce your risk for heart disease by creating a healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet is a great place to start. As you make better choices of what goes into your body, you’ll feel better. When you feel better, other healthy behaviors will be easier to conquer.
Here’s a great recipe for a healthy diet.
Mexistrone Soup is one of my favoite soup recipes. It is packed with delicious veggies and full of flavor.
How will you make your meals heart healthy this month? Enjoy!
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