February is American Heart Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of the leading cause of death in the U.S. — cardiovascular disease.

One in three adults has some form of heart/cardiovascular disease. Many of these deaths and risk factors are preventable and food choices have a big impact on your heart’s health, even if you have other risk factors.

This February, celebrate American Heart Month by learning more about a heart-healthy diet that includes foods:

  • Low in saturated and trans fats. Saturated fats are found in some meats, dairy products, baked goods and deep-fried and processed foods. Trans fats are found in some fried and processed foods. Both types of fat raise your LDL or “bad” cholesterol level.
  • High in omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high in omega-3s include fish and olive oil.
  • High in fiber, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. A diet rich in these foods helps lower LDL cholesterol and provides nutrients that may help protect against heart disease.
  •  Low in salt. A low-salt diet can help manage blood pressure and help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.Also, be sure to take part in at least thirty minutes of physical activity every day.

If you are at high risk for heart disease or already have heart disease, your first step should be to meet with a registered dietitian. Together with your primary care provider, your dietitian can help you lower your risk or improve your existing condition by developing a personalized eating and lifestyle plan.

Content sourced from American Dietetic Association


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