February 6, 2015

Today is National Wear Red Day

Heart Disease

Did you know that Heart disease causes 1 in 3 women's deaths each year, killing approximately one woman every minute.  This really made me think!  Me. My sisters.  My mother. My friends! Are we all taking good enough care of our hearts?

Go Red for Women

When I did my evaluation for my liver transplant, we spent a whole day making sure my heart was good.  I had scans, a stress test, blood work, you name it.  My heart passed the test.  I was told however that because the blood flow to my heart was "restricted" by the blood clots that caused my liver damage, they would be keeping a close watch on it.  I was also told that I would have to take extra precautions to keep my heart healthy.

They say the way to a mans heart is through his stomach.  But the saying holds true for me.  I love to eat, but I also have to remember that I need to make heart healthy choices. Here are some great tips for eating healthy!

1. Slow down on the sodium: Americans eat more than double the daily amount of sodium recommended by the American Heart Association. Too much sodium increases the risk of heart diseasestroke and other health problems, but this excess isn’t just from salting at the table. Americans get most of their sodium — 77 percent — from processed foods. If you choose these foods, compare the labels and look for lower-sodium versions.
2. Pile on the fruits and vegetables: Choose all kinds of fruits and vegetables — fresh, frozen, canned, juiced and dried. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Look for fruits and vegetables of many different colors. Then try a “healthy sauté” using a small amount of liquid to cook vegetables. Need a quick, healthy weeknight dinner? Try a salad. The American Heart Association has tasty recipes packed with such items as tofu, broccoli, mushrooms and much more.
3. Get the skinny on fats: Learn how to substitute good fats (mono and polyunsaturated fats) for bad fats(saturated and trans fats). For example, try canola oil or olive oil instead of butter. Choose lean meats, poultry without skin and fish instead of fattier cuts of meats. Enjoy heart-healthy fats in moderation and remember this tip: 1 teaspoon equals 1 serving.
4. Cook at home. Cooking at home is not only a great way to make sure the ingredients are healthy, but portions are correct. Try using a smaller salad-size plate instead of a big dinner plate, as well.

Looking for some heart healthy recipes?  Check out www.heart.org. I used to think healthy meant boring and bland but check out this Chunky Marinara with Pasta and Seared Chicken.  Or this Sirloin Steak with Portobello Mushrooms.  They have a great variety of delicious and healthy recipes so stop by and make something heart healthy tonight.

Ladies, lets make a change.  Visit https://www.goredforwomen.org/ and learn more about what you can do to keep your heart happy.  Even just one step in the right direction is one step towards a healthier heart. 

And remember to share what you learn.  While 1 in 31 American women dies from breast cancer each year, 1 in 3 dies of heart disease.  I had no idea that heart disease was the number one killer of women. I would have guessed breast cancer because it is always in the spotlight. We need to spread awareness!  Share what you learn with your family and friends so they can be heart healthy too!  Let our hearts win this fight!

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