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Love Your Heart

February 2, 2018

How often do you think about your heart? Our hearts work hard to keep us alive, but sometimes we take them for granted and forget that we need to keep them healthy. The American Heart Association recommends that the best way to care for your heart is to live a heart healthy lifestyle, including a heart healthy diet, regular physical activity, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Follow a Heart Healthy Diet

Fill up on fruits and veggies - Any fresh, frozen or canned fruit or vegetable will work. Look for those without added sauces, salt or sugar.

Eat more whole grains - Look for products containing “whole grains,” such as whole wheat, quinoa, brown rice, and oats. Choose products that have at least 8 grams of whole grains per serving.

Select low-fat dairy products - Dairy products are great sources of protein, calcium and vitamin D. Choose low-fat and fat-free products.

Look for non-tropical vegetable oils - Select mono- and poly-unsaturated fats that are liquid at room temperature, such as canola, olive, and sunflower oils.

Consume lean meats, poultry, fish, and beans - Choose lean meats, baked or prepared with healthy oils. Include fish at least twice per week, and opt for fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon and trout. Plant source products such as beans and lentils are good sources of protein and fiber, and can be added to salads, pasta dishes, and burritos.

Amp Up Your Physical Activity

Find ways to get active doing things you enjoy - There are many ways to add movement to your day. Try parking further from your destination, going for a brisk walk with coworkers on your lunch break, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and/or joining a club to play tennis, softball, or other sports.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Limit less nutritious, higher-calorie foods and beverages - This includes foods that are higher in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium, as well as red meats, sugary candies and other sweet treats, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

Be aware of portion sizes – Check package labels for appropriate portion sizes. Avoid the urge to overeat by placing snacks in single-serving containers or bowls, rather than eating right out of the bag or box.

Implement the above tips in ways that work best with your lifestyle. Make it a goal to remember your heart, and all it does for you, this year.

 1. Healthy Eating. https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/Healthy-Eating/Healthy-Eating_UCM_001188_SubHomePage.jsp. American Heart Association. Accessed November 20, 2017.