Are you are taking heart health seriously? Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of Americans today; and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in every six adults has elevated cholesterol levels. Diet and lifestyle therapies remain the cornerstone of clinical interventions to prevent heart disease, so use the following tips to make sure your heart is healthy:
Know your numbers.
According to the American Heart Association, your numbers should be within the following ranges:
|Total cholesterol||<200 mg/dl|
|LDL (bad) cholesterol||<100 mg/dl|
|HDL (good) cholesterol||>40 mg/dl (men) >50 mg/dl (women)|
Follow a low fat/low cholesterol diet.
- Eat a diet low in saturated fat and trans fats by limiting full fat dairy, butter, fatty meats, fried/fast foods and prepared foods that contain hydrogenated oils
- Include good fat from nuts, avocado, unsaturated margarine spreads, canola and olive oil (keeping portion size in mind)
- Include 25 to 35 grams of total fiber per day by including dried beans/peas, oats, flaxseed, rye, soy nuts, berries, fruits and vegetables
- Include fish in your diet at least twice a week
- Avoid sugary foods like cookies, cakes, pies and calorie containing beverages
- Avoid excess alcohol intake
- Reduce sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day – stay tuned for a future blog post on sodium!
Achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
- less calories in and more calories out
- Exercise at least 30 to 60 minutes five to seven days per week
- Find something you like to do – this will make sticking to it easier
- Exercise is cumulative – fifteen minutes of exercise three times a day is as good as 45 minutes once a day
Please call the Centegra Weight-Loss Institute at 877-CENTEGRA (877-236-8347) or fill out our online form for more information .
Betsy Felde RD, LDN
Centegra Health System
Sources: heart.org; cdc.gov