Simple Solutions for a Healthy Heart

February is Heart Health Month. The majority of heart disease risk factors are PREVENTABLE. It is my desire to educate people to engage in heart healthy lifestyles. By following the tips below, you can greatly reduce your risks of developing heart disease. These tips can also aid in reversing heart disease as well.

  • Nutritional Intervention - Changing your eating habits is by far the most beneficial thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease. Change to a more plant based diet. Make sure to have 5-10 servings of veggies a day. Have at least 2 servings of fruit daily. Remove processed foods, fast foods, refined sugars, and flours from your diet. Consume wild caught fatty fish at least twice a week. Eliminate or dramatically reduce your sugar intake to less than 25 grams a day.

  • Exercise - Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most days of the week can lower your risks for heart disease. Daily physical activity will also increase your quality of life.

  • Weight Loss - Lose the weight and keep it off! Losing as little as 5-10% of your body weight will lower your risk for heart disease.

  • Reduce “unhealthy” Fats - According to the American Heart Association, eating foods rich in trans fats increases the amount of harmful LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream and reduces the amount of beneficial HDL cholesterol. Avoid using margarine, vegetable shortening, commercially prepared cookies, pastries, and fast food.

  • Increase “healthy” Fats - Eating for a healthy heart is not just about avoiding unhealthy fats. Incorporating healthy fats can be beneficial to your heart and overall health. Here are a few of the healthiest fats that you may want to consider adding to your diet: olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, nut butters, cold water fish, grass-fed butter and beef, ghee, coconut oil, dark chocolate, full-fat dairy, cheese, eggs.

  • Quit Smoking - Cigarette smokers have a much higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. Smoking can increase your risk for coronary heart disease, hardened arteries, aneurysms, and blood clots. Quitting smoking will not only lower your risk for heart disease, but it will improve your overall health.

Protecting your heart is simpler than you think! Making small changes on a daily basis can help reverse or prevent heart disease.

Janet Steward