Heart Health Tips
Heart disease is leading cause of death in the United States, and the best way to prevent it is to understand its risks and contributing factors. Heart disease is most commonly referred to as coronary heart disease.
Factors including family history can increase your risk of heart disease or heart attack. Knowing your risk factors and visiting your doctor for regular check-ups is an important step in your journey to prevention. Even small lifestyle changes can help reduce your risk for heart disease.
|Heart Healthy Eating|
- Increasing age (65+)
- Family history
- High blood pressure
- Consuming large amounts of fat
- Unhealthy cholesterol levels
- Chronic kidney disease
- Obesity or a sedentary lifestyle, not getting enough exercise
The Centura Cardiac and Vascular Network comes together to maintain the highest standards of education and reduce the number of cardiac patients in need of assistance through community efforts to diminish heart disease in our State.
While its obvious that exercise is good for your body as a whole, its particularly important for the health of your heart. Keeping a steady, physical regimen improves the oxygen distribution throughout the body, strengthening your internal functions. Physical activity is recommended three to five times each week, or at least 30 minutes each day. If you cannot find 30 consecutive minutes in the day, break your physical activity into shorter segments.
Nutrition and Eating Right
Eating foods that are naturally low in fat including whole grains, fruits and vegetables are great for lowering your cholesterol and keeping your heart healthy.
- Look at food labels, paying special attention to the level of saturated fat
- Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats
- Choose lean protein foods
- Look for the words "hydrogenated" or "partially hydrogenated" on food labels and stay away from them
- Limit fried and processed foods
- Eat foods that are high in soluble fiber
The American Heart Association recommends a variety of "smart" food substitutions to help lower saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. When cooking at home, substituting certain foods in your recipes will increase the nutritional value of your meals.
- Whole milk (1 cup) - Use 1 cup of fat-free or low-fat milk, plus one tablespoon of liquid vegetable oil
- Heavy cream (1 cup) - Use 1 cup of evaporated skim milk or ½ cup of low-fat yogurt and ½ cup plain low-fat unsalted cottage cheese
- Sour cream - low-fat unsalted cottage cheese plus low-fat or fat-free yogurt; or fat-free sour cream
- Egg - 2 egg whites or a commercially made, cholesterol-free egg substitute
- Butter - 1 tablespoon soft margarine or ¾ tablespoon liquid vegetable oil
*Substitutions provided by the American Heart Association