Go Red in February…Go Heart Healthy With These Tips

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Go Red for Women is the American Heart Association’s global initiative to end heart disease and stroke in women.  The program was launched in 2004 to close the gap in awareness. Go Red quickly expanded into a worldwide movement dedicated to removing the barriers women face to achieving good health and wellbeing.

It’s hard to believe, but heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, killing more women than all forms of cancer combined.  With the Go Red Awareness Initiative in mind, I want to share some heart healthy tips for improving your diet and lifestyle, since these factors play a huge role in preventing and treating heart disease.  

Heart Healthy Eating Tips and Supplement Suggestions:

Balance caloric intake and physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight by eating smaller portions of food, reading food labels to understand how many calories you eat each day, and, if possible, exercising 30 to 60 minutes/day.

Keep caloric intake and physical activity in check.

Balance caloric intake and physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight by eating smaller portions of food, reading food labels to understand how many calories you eat each day, and, if possible, exercising 30 to 60 minutes/day.

Consume a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. 

Enjoy brightly colored fruits and vegetables for the most nutrients

Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day

Prepare fruits and vegetables without added fat and sugar, if possible

Enjoy fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and vegetables to help meet your fruit and vegetable intake needs

Enjoy whole-grain, high-fiber foods:

Barley, Bran cereals, Brown rice, Buckwheat, Bulgur, Corn, Millet, Oatmeal, Popcorn, Quinoa, Rye, Sorghum,Triticale, Whole-wheat breads, Wild rice  

Consume more fish, especially oily fish, at least twice each week.  

Select oily fish when possible, such as: Herring, Mackerel, Salmon, Sardines, Trout and Tuna

Limit saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol

Limit your intake of saturated fat to <7% of calories, trans fat to <1% of calories, and cholesterol to <300 milligrams/day.

Choose lean meats and vegetable alternatives to meat, such as dried beans

Select fat-free, skim, or 1% milk, and low-fat cheese and yogurt

Minimize intake of margarine and other partially hydrogenated fats

Use liquid oils over solid fats when cooking or baking (whenever possible)

Cut back on pastries and bakery products, such as muffins and doughnuts

Eat and drink fewer beverages and foods that contain added sugars

Limit beverages high in added sugars, such as soda, fruit punch, and sweetened coffees and teas

Reduce the number of foods you eat that contain added sugars, such as cakes, cookies, pies, and candies

Limit Salt Intake

Choose and prepare foods with little or no added salt.  The goal for sodium intake for people under 50 years old is <2300 mg, which is about 1 teaspoon and for people over 50 years old is <1500 mg, which is about ¾ of a teaspoon.  

Choose reduced-sodium versions of foods

Use less salt in cooking and for seasoning foods

Limit high-sodium condiments, such as soy sauce, ketchup, etc

If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. 

Choose one drink/day for women and two drinks/day for men or less

Other vitamin supplementation suggestions for heart health: 

Fish oil supplements containing omega-3 fatty acids

You may benefit from omega-3 supplements (fish oil capsules), if your triglyceride level is high

Your doctor might recommend 2 to 4 grams (g) of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid/day—take this supplement only with the knowledge of your physician 

Plant sterols/stanols

Plant sterols/stanols may lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels

An intake of about 2 g/day is recommended

Plant sterols are available in fortified foods and drinks

Your RD or RDN can help you find the best sources 

If you need further assistance with treating heart disease, a registered dietitian nutritionist may provide more specific guidelines for you to follow.  For more information on Sugar Land Nutrition’s weight loss programs and to book an appointment, please feel free to visit our website @patty.rd.com. 

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Patty Martin

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

Have you found the right weight loss solution for you, yet? You can! Together, we’ll resolve your past weight loss struggles, transform your energy and health and you will look and feel your best. I truly enjoy helping my clients to reach her or his most desired goals. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I can help you become all you want to be and more.


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