“Every minute in the United States, someone’s wife, mother, daughter or sister dies from heart disease, stroke or another form of cardiovascular disease (CVD). More than one in three women is living with CVD.” (1)
Cardiovascular disease is a disease of the heart and/or blood vessels (the arteries, veins and capillaries) that supply blood to your organs. Cardiovascular disease often stems from factors such as high blood pressure, poor diet and cigarette smoking — making it a controllable disease, in many cases.
According to Dr. Valentin Fuster, a cardiologist and the Director of Mount Sinai Heart, the six most common risk factors for heart disease are: (2)
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Sedentary lifestyle
Do you struggle with any of these things? Start to take control today! Heart healthy eating can help with your blood pressure, weight, cholesterol and diabetes.
Let’s get started with a summary of the American Heart Association’s Diet Recommendations (3,4):
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables
- Choose fiber-rich whole grains for most grain servings
- Choose low-fat dairy products
- Select lean cuts of meat; eat poultry and fish without the skin
- Eat fish at least twice a week
- Eat nuts and legumes
- Choose non-tropical vegetable oils
- Limit foods that are high in saturated fat — such as fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, and tropical oils such as coconut, palm kernel, and palm oils
- Limit trans fat — avoid foods with partially hydrogenated oils
- Limit sugary beverages, sweets and added sugars
- Limit sodium
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation (for women, the recommendation is no more than one drink per day)
Choose a few to work on today, and you will be on your way to a healthier heart.
For more interesting reading and information on healthy eating, check out:
The American Heart Association. The Top 10 Topics in Healthy Eating.
Want some heart-healthy recipes? The American Heart Association website has those too!
- Women and Heart Disease. The American Heart Association Website. Updated Feb 12, 2014. Accessed Jan 19, 2017.
- Charles K. February is American Heart Month, a good time to consider what you can do to stay heart-healthy. New York Daily News. Feb 8, 2015. Accessed Jan 19, 2017.
- The American Heart Association’s Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations. The American Heart Association Website. Published Aug 2015. Updated Oct 24, 2016. Accessed Jan 19, 2017.
- Managing Blood Pressure with a Heart-Healthy Diet. The American Heart Association Website. Published Oct 2016. Updated Dec 12, 2016. Accessed Jan 19, 2017.