American Heart Month - Heart Healthy Tips (part 1)

We have been celebrating LOVE for your HEART all month long! (A list of our Heart Healthy posts this month are at the very bottom.) Today we are providing you with our TOP 3 Heart Healthy Tips along with a delicious snack to keep your heart happy and healthy! Be sure to tune in next Friday for a couple more tips!

1. Cut the Salt! Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death worldwide, and high blood pressure is a major risk factor. For the estimated one in three Americans who will develop high blood pressure, a high-sodium diet may be to blame---So there’s no question as to why a ‘low sodium diet’ is recommended--- less than 1500mg to be exact! Stop Shaking on the salt, switch out what’s in the salt shaker with a ‘light salt, Mrs. Dash®, or even white pepper or other spice mixes. Watch out for “secret salt” that can be found in most “instant” cooking products like instant oatmeal, etc. This is usually labeled as di-sodium phosphate or mono-sodium glutamate (MSG). Utilize the NuVal® system at your local United, Amigos, and Market Street. NuVal® is label reading made easy and takes sodium into consideration when giving foods a score so look for the highest scored products on the shelf.

2. Add omega 3’s! – Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA and DHA, have been shown to benefit the heart of healthy people and those at high risk for — or who already have — cardiovascular disease. Omega 3’s will also help lower your triglycerides. Aim to eat fish 2-3 times per week --- fatty fish like salmon or tuna. If you are not a fan of fish look to walnuts, almonds, and flax seed to help you get your omega 3 fatty acids. You may also take a supplement but talk to your local pharmacist or the Living Well Specialist at your local Market Street on which supplement would be best for you.

3. Eat More fiber!-at least 3 servings per day of whole grain products (whole wheat pasta, bread, brown rice, oats, cereal, and popcorn) and the addition of other fiber sources from beans, nuts/seeds, fruits and veggies. Fiber containing foods such as whole grains help reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk for heart disease. Fiber rich foods also help us feel full with fewer calories and therefore can help with weight management. Fiber foods are also a great source of B-vitamins and important minerals like iron and magnesium. Look for the NuVal® score when shopping for breads and cereals. It takes the work out of label reading and helps you pick a product that’s great for your family! Click here for new ways to add fiber.

Healthy Snack Idea:
Happy Heart Trail Mix: unsalted – natural almonds, unsalted walnuts, whole wheat cereals (Wheat Chex, Kashi Cereals, bran cereals) and dried fruit. This trail mix would be a great source of healthy omega 3 fats, fiber, and antioxidants, not to mention it is low in sodium, and zero cholesterol!

Other Heart Healthy Posts this month:
1. Avocados vs Guacamole
2. High fiber minestrone soup
3. Natural vs Roasted/Salted Almonds
4. Naked Juice Red Machine

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