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February Is American Heart Month

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istock_000012086139xsmallFebruary is American Heart Month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women, but experts with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  remind all of us that the disease is largely preventable. The CDC reports that 600,000 Americans die annually from heart disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. To get on the track to better heart health, take some simple precautions:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Exercise regularly
  • Watch your blood pressure and keep it in check
  • Don’t smoke
  • Limit alcohol consumption
  • Have your cholesterol checked
  • If applicable, manage your diabetes
  • If applicable, take your medicine

Here are some eating tips to help you celebrate your heart!

Foods to avoid:

Processed meats (bacon, hot dogs, etc.)
Red meat
Pizza (the cheese is highly processed and so are common meat toppings)
Alfredo sauce
Trans fats
Fried foods
Soda (including diet varieties)
Fast food (sky high sodium content is a major no-no here)

Foods to enjoy:

Red wine (in moderation!)
Olive oil

If you are looking for help losing weight, the CDC has a page dedicated to assessing the right weight for your age and body type. Click for the assessment. Click for a Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. If you’re at a healthy weight and want to prevent weight gain, click for help with that as well. Remember, you can catch small weight gains quickly by weighing yourself regularly.

Written by Bethany Village

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