February is Heart Health month! Caring for your heart through a healthy diet and regular physical activity is the secret weapon to preventing heart disease. The real preventative power lies with real changes to your lifestyle – which can reduce the risk for heart disease by as much as 80 percent.
What is cardiovascular disease?
Any health condition that impacts the health and function of the heart:
- heart attack
- heart failure
- heart valve problems
Atherosclerosis, the process of plaque build-up within the walls of your arteries, is the underlying cause of cardiovascular disease.
Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors:
Modifiable Risk Factors
- High blood cholesterol
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Physical inactivity
- Unhealthy diet
Non-Modifiable Risk Factors
- Family history
- History of stroke/’mini’ stroke
10 Tips for a Healthy Heart:
- Engage in 30 minutes of enjoyable activity each day.
- Snack on a handful of unsalted nuts at least 4 x per week.
- Have a meatless meal at least 1 x per week.
- Eat fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, etc.) at least 2 x per week.
- Replace refined, processed grains with whole grains.
- Limit going out to eat to no more than 2 x per month.
- Eat vegetables at BOTH lunch and supper (ensure at least 1 serving is raw!)
- Eat fruit at least 2 x per day.
- Choose heart healthy fats – plant-based fats and oily fish.
- Limit unhealthy fats – animal-based and processed fats.
Keep your stress in check!