Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. Having a healthy heart has multiple benefits, with the biggest being life. Four out of five heart-related deaths can be prevented by making heart smart choices. Try to do something different every single day to make your heart happy.
- Take inventory of what’s in your refrigerator. Replace high saturated fat and high sugar products with low-fat, high-fiber and low-sugar versions. Easily replaced without a noticeable difference to taste are condiments, salad dressings, jellies, jams, butter and milk.
- Increase unsaturated fats – this would be olive oil, avocados and nuts.
- Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, and limit red meat.
- Rethink your breakfast. Reduce your fat and cholesterol intake as much as 20 percent by eating a cup of cooked oatmeal instead of cereal, a bagel, or eggs and bacon.
- Remove desserts if they tempt you too much. If you need something sweet (and who doesn’t from time to time?), many lighter ice creams have great flavor. You can also try Weight Watchers desserts (they are yummy!) or the 100-calorie versions of ice cream bars and sandwiches. Another trick is to get the individual servings of ice cream that are pre-portioned so you don’t overindulge.
- Reduce your stress by lowering your blood pressure through a little pampering (go ahead, you and your health deserve it!) with a spa appointment, manicure or pedicure.
- Exercise. Besides eliminating high fat and high sugar products, exercise is one of the main ways to have a healthy heart. Studies have shown even just 30 minutes of walking can help keep good cholesterol up and the bad cholesterol down.
- Stand up. Studies show that prolonged sitting may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Small choices every day can have a big effect later. Increase your knowledge about heart disease through research and speaking to your physician. A healthy heart is a happy heart!
This post was written by Michelle Fleer. Contact Michelle at firstname.lastname@example.org
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