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A Heart Healthy Life

Posted February 28, 2018


When was the last time you went to the doctor’s office to have your routine heart check up? Are you eating heart healthy foods? Are you living the right life style to avoid heart attacks? All these questions, plus more, pop into your mind right around February, American Heart month. Suddenly we start seeing more commercials about visiting your doctor routinely for checkups and making sure that you have a healthy lifestyle which includes exercise. With this information constantly in the media, you can’t help but to ask yourself, “Am I doing everything right to avoid heart disease and heart attacks?” Below are a few things to keep in mind when making the changes to be more “heart conscious” when it comes to your health.

Increase your fruit and vegetable intake: Not only are fruits and vegetables low in calories but they are also high in dietary fiber. Antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have proven to decrease your chances of getting heart disease. The Mayo Clinic has set up a small chart on certain fruits and vegetables that are more beneficial to evading heart disease.

Decrease Sodium Intake: This task is actually easier than one would think. If you are someone who does not always cook your meals at home but prefer to go to a restaurant or drive-through, order your food with no salt. Due to health guidelines, all restaurant and fast food establishments have to abide by this request. Most restaurants and drive-through add a ton of salt into their food items to make them taste better. If you order no salt and add your own after the meal comes out, this gives you more control of the amount of sodium you are putting into your body.

Get a Heart Screenings Once a Year: How often you should have a heart screening is dependent on your weight, age, and health condition. If you are older and overweight you should go more often than someone who is in their early 20s. American Heart Association has listed some good items to keep an eye on before going in for your check up.

Decrease “Bad Fat” Consumption: Try avoiding or decreasing the “bad fat”, also known as saturated fat. This includes things like fried food, prepackaged snacks and even microwaveable popcorn. Now, not all fat is bad fat! Things like avocados and fish are considered unsaturated fats. These fats will help decrease your cholesterol level and your chances of getting heart disease. Some oils that are good to cook with and are considered to be an unsaturated fat are peanut, olive and canola oil.

Cholesterol HDL vs. LDL: When it comes to living a healthy life and wanting to lower cholesterol, you hear these terms frequently. HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein, also known as “good” cholesterol. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein, “bad” cholesterol. If your LDL number is too high, this means that you are at a higher risk for heart attacks and blockage in the arteries. If you are being heart conscious, you will want your total cholesterol level to stay under 200mg/dL, which will insure a decreased chance of acquiring heart disease.

For more information on Other Food Items to Avoid please click on the link.