Heart Month

By DeDe Hausmann

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) states that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US and is a major cause of disability.  Almost every 25 seconds an American will have a coronary event (stroke or heart attack) and about every minute a person will die from it.  Risk factors

Include: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, smoking, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity and second-hand smoke.

This issue is very close to my heart for I just lost my husband of 39 years to heart disease.  He refused to develop a healthy lifestyle and thought meds could do it all.  He died due to his unwillingness to change.  He was obese, was taking meds for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and gout, was diabetic but wouldn’t admit it, did eat lots of fruits and veggies but also consumed large servings of meat, but most of all he wasn’t physically active. Does this sound like someone you know?!

The American Heart Association’s mission is to build healthier lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.  So how does one go about this?

  • Eat lean meats and poultry (remove skin) and grill or broil.
  • Enjoy low-fat, 1% or fat-free dairy products.
  • Cut back on processed foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils and those with trans fats.
  • Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol/daily. READ PACKAGE LABELS!
  • Cut back on foods and beverages with added sugars.
  • Choose LOW SODIUM foods.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.
  • EAT SMALLER PORTION SIZES.
  • Make physical activity an important part of your daily life.  Try walking for 30 minutes or biking, etc.  Just find something active you enjoy doing and DO IT!!!!!

I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible to be free of heart disease.  It’s up to each and every one of us to do this for ourselves and our loved ones.  I work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle but I couldn’t convince my man to take even baby steps and now he is gone!  Don’t let this happen to you.  If you are overweight, try taking off 5 pounds by consuming smaller portions, taking a walk after dinner, avoid fried foods and enjoy 3 servings of nutrient-rich low-fat, 1%, or fat-free dairy products daily.  You should then feel better and will want to continue losing more weight and being physically active.

Don’t become a heart attack or stroke statistic.  It’s up to you and only you to develop a healthy lifestyle, free of heart disease.

 

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