Keep a Healthy Heart
I love people and as dietician I want folks to know real love is not about sweet words, flowers and making whoopee. Real love is about making sure the loved ones in your life have healthy hearts and are living a lifestyle that will keep those hearts in good shape or help them become healthier.
Heart disease is America's number one killer of both men and women. Regardless of gender, what you eat can put you at risk for increased heart disease, which is a disorder of the blood vessels of the heart that can lead to heart attack which can occur when an artery becomes blocked. Blocked arteries prevent oxygen and nutrients from getting to the heart. Heart disease is one of several cardiovascular diseases, which are diseases of the heart and blood vessel system. The other ones include stroke, high blood pressure, angina (chest pain), and rheumatic heart disease. Rheumatic heart disease can occur after a person has rheumatic fever.
Healthy diets and lifestyles work together in keeping the heart healthy. Eating a healthy diet includes:
Diets should include:
Lean, skinless meats and poultry
Vegetables, and leafy greens
Foods high in soluble fiber: oatmeal, beans and peas, barley, and many fruits and vegetables (such as apples, oranges, and carrots)
Lowfat (1%) or fat free dairy products--
Avoid high fat and fried foods: also foods with added sugars
Avoid foods high in dietary cholesterol
Prepare foods without added salt, saturated fat, and trans fat
Limiting your alcohol intake
Women: 1 drink per day (maximum)
Men: 2 drinks per day (maximum)
20-to-60 minutes per day, 3-to-5 times per week
Avoiding tobacco products and tobacco smoke
You should also chat with family members to learn about their health and medical history before there is a medical crisis.
Now a healthy diet and lifestyle does not mean you can't enjoy candy or sweets-----occasionally. These can be included in your diet in moderation, just don't go overboard. Dark or bittersweet chocolate will soothe that sweet tooth and also has health benefits. Dark chocolate has benefits because it is high in antioxidants which are good for you. Additionally research has shown that dark chocolate can help lower blood pressure, aid arteries in relaxing and being flexible for healthy blood flow, as well as satisfying your desire for a sweet treat.
It is also important to know the signs or symptoms that your heart may not be healthy. A heart attack of course is a red flag, but there may also be signals from your body that should be discussed with a doctor. Some of the indicators include:
Chest pain (angina)
• Shortness of breath
• Pain, numbness, weakness or coldness in your legs or arms, if the blood vessels in those parts of your body are narrowed.
• Swelling in the ankles, hands or feet
• Fainting or near fainting
You often see the "heart" symbol, just remember to show your love to friends and family by sharing with them what it takes to develop and keep a healthy heart. You know with love, you have to work at it every day.
Take Away: It only takes a few minutes to share with loved ones tips to help them adopt a healthier lifestyle. A tip a day can help keep the doctor away.
Michelle J. Stewart MPH, RDLD/N, CDE is an experienced food and nutrition communication expert specializing in wellness with a holistic approach to living your best life. Michelle has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. She is zealous when it comes to wellness from the inside out and empowering whomever she comes in contact with to take charge of their health and wellbeing. Her motto is "EAT LESS MOVE MORE" Sign up for her Free Report 10 Weight Loss Tips for Life when you visit http://thenutritionplanner.com