Nutrition Matters – February 2021

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Keeping Your Heart Healthy Diet:  Keeping your heart healthy is something you can work on every day. What you eat, how much you move, whether you smoke and controlling your cholesterol blood pressure are important things that can have a big impact on your heart.

Tips For Eating A Heart Healthy Diet:  Healthy eating for a healthy heart is a pattern. It does not focus on one type of food or nutrient, but rather on what you eat over days, weeks and months. This style of eating is naturally low in saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar. It’s rich in wholegrain, fiber, antioxidants and unsaturated fats.

Tips For Being More Active:  Doing regular physical activity reduces your risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. Keeping active helps to control common heart disease risk factors, including:  high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight. Regular physical activity can also help strengthen your bones and muscles. It can help you feel more energetic, happier and relaxed.

Tips To Help You Be Smoke-Free: The first step to quitting is understanding the risks associated with smoking. Smoking damages the blood vessels heading to your heart, brain and other parts of your body. This makes you four times more likely to die of a heart attack or stroke and three times more likely to die from sudden cardiac death.

Tips To Help You Understand Your Cholesterol Levels:  Cholesterol is a fatty substance that moves around your body in the blood. Your body produces cholesterol naturally, and it is also found in some foods. Cholesterol is essential for the normal functioning of your body.

Tips To Help You Understand Your Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is the pressure of your blood on the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps it around your body. It’s a vital part of how your heart and circulation work. Blood pressure that’s high over a long time is one of the main risk factors for heart disease. As you get older, the chances of having ongoing high blood pressure increases.

See Your Doctor For A Heart Health Check:  If you are 45 years old, you should see your doctor for a Heart Health Check. During a Heart Health Check, your doctor will assess your risk factors for heart disease, including your: Blood pressure, Cholesterol, Diet, Physical activity levels, and Medical and family history.

Your doctor will then inform you whether you are at low, moderate, or high risk of a heart attack or stroke in the next five years. The most important part of this check-up is working with your doctor to manage your risk factors to improve your heart health.

A Heart Health Check Involves 3 Key Steps:  

  1.  Talk to your doctor:  Your doctor will start your checkup by talking with you about your heart disease risk factors.
  2. Learn about your risk:  Once your doctor knows your risk factors, they will enter this information into a web-based calculator to understand your risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the next five years.
  3. Manage your risk: Depending on your result, your doctor may encourage you to keep doing what you’re doing, or give you advice, information, and support to make heart-healthy changes.

For additional foods, health, and nutrition information, contact Shelina Bonner, Family and Consumer Sciences Agent, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Greene County Center at (252) 747-5831.

Source: Keeping Your Heart Healthy