Every Other American Has Risk Factors for this Disease

image: va.gov

Heart Disease is still the number one disease in the United States. 49% of us have at least one risk factor associated with the disease:

  • high blood cholesterol
  • high blood pressure
  • smoking
  • excess weight
  • diabetes
  • physical inactivity

February was national heart health month, and March is national nutrition month. The right food is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy heart and reducing the risk of getting a heart attack. It may seem a bit overwhelming to change years of bad habits, but nobody says you have to make all these changes all at once.

Here are a few small steps to a healthier you:

  • add one vegetable a day to your meals
  • use half a teaspoon less of sugar to sweeten your coffee / tea
  • cook one more meal at home this week compared to last week (eat out less)
  • Change your sandwich bread from white to whole grain
  • take a 30 minute walk every day. You can break it down to 10 minutes, 3 times a day
  • Swap your OJ, and eat a piece of real fruit
  • Stop smoking (OK, this is not a small step, but nonetheless, try reducing the daily cigarette count)
  • Share your desert with a friend
  • Read the nutrition label and ingredient lists of products you are buying

What steps are you taking to improve your heart health?

Sources:

  • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
  • National Institute of Health

Get Fooducated

  • Casey

    Trying to limit added sugar for my family’s health in a difficult environment: http://kyhealthykids.com/2013/11/04/like-the-switch-witch-thoughtful-reduction-for-the-rest-of-sugar-season/

  • Laura M

    Why do we continue to push whole grains as the means to fight heart disease? Wheat causes inflammation in our bodies and it’s the inflammation that causes plaque to build in our arteries. Cholesterol itself is not bad, it’s needed for the brain and other reasons. However, when cholesterol combines with inflammation from eating foods like wheat and sugar (which raises blood sugar), plaques form. Read Grain Brain to fully understand. Articles like this continue the old advice that is clearly not working.

    • Brian Klein

      I agree with your sentiment about “healthy whole grains”, but I actually agreed with every other point. I was very surprised that cutting saturated fat wasn’t part of the advice, as I’m used to seeing that advice on this blog.

    • AimeeLC

      If I’m not mistaken, the author of Wheat Belly is a cardiologist. You’re absolutely right. All these GMO grains are literally killing us!