From the Providers Desk
February is American Heart Health Month. Chances are, we all know someone affected by heart disease and stroke, because about 2,300 Americans die of cardiovascular disease each DAY, an average of 1 death every 38 seconds. It is the leading global cause of death with more than 17.9 million deaths each year.That number is expected to rise to more than 23.6 million by 2030. But together we can change that!
The biggest part of living healthy comes down to simply making healthy choices. Even modest changes to your diet and lifestyle can improve your heart health and lower your risk by as much as 80 percent.
Here’s some heart healthy tips to get you started! Contact me to make an appointment if you have questions or need more advise about your own heart health!
Heart Health and Diet
Reviewed by Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN
Published February 01, 2018
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. About 92 million people in the United States have some form of heart/cardiovascular disease — that’s about 29 percent of the population. Many of these deaths and risk factors are preventable, and food choices have a big impact on your heart’s health, even if you have other risk factors. Only a few risk factors, such as age, gender and family history, cannot be controlled. You can prevent and control many risk factors of heart disease, such as high blood cholesterol and high blood pressure with lifestyle changes and medications.
A healthy lifestyle — following a healthy eating plan, maintaining a healthy weight, regular physical activity, quitting smoking and managing stress — can lower your risk for heart disease and may prevent current heart disease from worsening.
A Heart-Healthy Diet
To lower your risk of heart disease, follow these recommendations directly from the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans:
1. “Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan.”
2. “Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount.”
3. “Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake.”
4. “Shift to healthier food and beverage choices.”
5. “Support healthy eating patterns for all.”
For helpful tips on incorporating these guidelines into your diet, see Heart-Healthy Cooking Tips. If you are at high risk for heart disease or already have heart disease, your first step should be to meet with a registered dietitian nutritionist. Together with your health-care provider, your RDN can help you lower your risk or improve your existing condition by developing a personalized eating and lifestyle plan.