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Heart Health Awareness Month

Content Submitted by: Jessica Roy, MS, RDN, LDN & Nutrition Counselor and Janyce Gately, MS, RD, LDN, Personal Chef, Certified Health and Wellness Coach

February is American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about good heart health. Heart health is extremely important to one’s well being. Heart disease kills more people annually than all forms of cancer combined, and 72% of Americans don’t consider themselves at risk for heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. However, there are many actions you can take to improve your heart health and greatly reduce the likeliness of heart-related issues.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), a heart-healthy diet is recommended to reduce your unhealthy blood cholesterol levels, manage high blood pressure, and lower your risk for heart disease.

– Eat a balanced diet with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and lean protein sources.

– Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

– Choose heart-healthy unsaturated fats. Limit saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol intake.

– Eat whole, unprocessed foods to limit the amount of sodium (salt) you eat.

– Limit refined carbohydrates especially sugar, sweets, and sugar-sweetened beverages.

– If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation: one serving per day (women) and two servings per day (men).

“Genetics plays a role in cardiovascular disease, so it’s helpful to know your family history,” adds Janyce. “If your father or brother had coronary heart disease or a heart attack before the age of 55, or your mother or sister had coronary heart disease or a heart attack before the age of 65, that will put you at increased risk.”

Regular physical activity can help prevent, treat, and sometimes even alleviate some of the most common chronic conditions such as high blood pressure. A recent blog post from the Waverley Oaks Personal Training Team shares insight on some fitness basics.

“Cutting down on saturated fat (meat, butter, milk) and incorporating more unsaturated fat into your diet (olive oil, canola oil, fish oil, etc.) is easier than you may think,” explains Jessica. “Olive oil works great for frying eggs, sautéing vegetables, and adding to salad dressings, and this delicious and satisfying Heart Healthy Trail Mix recipe is packed with nutrients!”

Our team of Registered Dietitians, Jessica and Janyce, work with individuals of all ages and walks of life to discover how they can integrate new healthy eating habits that fit their lifestyle and tastes. Plus, medical insurance plans often cover most, if not all, of the costs associated with your appointments. Reach out to to get started today.