Friday, February 4, 2011

February is American Heart Month

Since 1963, the President has declared February American Heart Month. Today the number one killer in American is heart disease! With over processed foods on the rise and exercise largely on the decline, heart disease can affect almost anyone. Women are just as susceptible as men and it is even the 3rd leading cause of death of women 25-44 years.(source)

There are many things you can do to protect your heart.
  • First it's very important to know your family history of heart disease.
  • Choose lean meats without skin (as yummy as it can be) and don't add any saturated and trans fats when preparing. (my general guide is if it is solid at room temp, it's saturated or trans fats; lard, shortening, butter, margarine, cheese etc. However, also limit cream, palm kernel oil, cottonseed oil, and coconut oil).
  • Select fat-free or low fat dairy products
  • cut back on processed foods because they often contain high amounts of partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils, trans fats, and sodium (salt).Why is salt so bad? watch this video...(sorry about the ad and Leah's potty mouth, I wish I could have edited it)
holy wow! I've heard of 'having a big heart' but that's just scary.
  • Cut back on foods high in cholesterol. Try for less than 300 mg/day
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars. Look for naturally sweetened alternatives, if you must.
  • If you drink, drink in moderation.
  • Monitor your portion size. Eat slowly so your stomach has time to communicate to your brain that it is full (I've heard it can take about 20 minutes). 

It is wise to supplement your diet with vitamins and nutrients that help support the body's various functions. Why? Well here are a couple reasons.
  • Busy lives make it difficult to make healthy choices. Have you gotten your recommended 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables today? (Don't worry I haven't either)
  • Our food has become largely over-processed and produce is often harvested too early, which reduces the concentration of essential nutrients that we need. 
  • Exposure to polluted air and water
  • Fast Foods
  • In general, supplements are a proactive health assurance to make sure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs each day. 
Shaklee carries many supplements that support cardiovascular function. If you currently suffer from high cholesterol, the New Cholesterol Reductions Complex works naturally to lower your number by preventing absorption and lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. It also delivers daily 100% of the National Institues of Heath's (NIH) recommendation for plant sterols and stanols, it's gluten free and Kosher certified.

Another great way to reduce your risk of heart disease and high blood pressure is to lose extra weight you may be carrying around (I'm guilty too, darn baby weight 16 months later), especially belly weight which is the most dangerous kind. For help loosing it, try the Cinch program. They have shakes, meal bars, snack bars, energy tea, and a boost. I've tried the peanut snack bars and they are yummy. My husband tried the shakes as a quick meal on the go on his way to work and said it the vanilla shake was really great tasting (no weird after taste) and left him satisfied. Try these tips from Dr.Stork about trimming belly fat and follow the heart healthy tips listed above to reduce your risk of heart disease. Start this month and make it a part of your daily routine for a healthier life!

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