February is American Heart Month

Go Red for Women
is the American Heart Association's national movement to end heart disease and stroke in women.  National Wear Red Day® is February 7th.  Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The best way to fight cardiovascular disease is to know the risks, understand the warning signs, and make healthy lifestyle choices. Give yourself some love this February and make positive changes to help reduce your risk for heart disease. 

Heart Disease Risk Factors:
High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, tobacco use, unhealthy eating, and a sedentary lifestyle. 

Warning Signs and Symptoms:
Heart attack signs include chest discomfort, upper body discomfort, cold sweat, and light headedness. Women are more likely to experience symptoms of shortness of breath, nausea/vomiting, and back or jaw pain. 

Tips on making positive lifestyle changes:

  •   Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Stock up on frozen fruit and vegetables for easy cooking- but stay away from added sugars to fruits and extra sauces that add fat and sodium to vegetables. Buy produce in season to save money. Keep fruit and vegetables in the front of the fridge, on the table, and in spots where you can see it. 
  •   Choose whole grains over refined grains. Substitute half white flour for whole wheat flour in your baking, switch to brown rice and whole wheat breads.
  •   Limit saturated and trans fats. Eat lean cuts of meat and incorporate fish and plant-based proteins into your meals. Replace high-fat cheeses with lower fat options. Replace solid fats with healthy fats like olive oil and canola oil. 
  •   Limit sodium intake. Prepare foods at home so you can control the amount of salt in your meals. Season foods with herbs, spices, garlic, onions, pepper, and lemon juice to add flavor without the extra sodium. 
  •   GET ACTIVE! Exercise not only helps prevent obesity, it also lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart disease. Aim for 30-60 minutes a day and choose activities that you enjoy.