Posted on 02/15/2018 at 02:12 PM by Troy Cummings
American Heart Month
February is American Heart Month, which means it is time to raise awareness about heart disease and how to prevent it. The first American Heart Month was proclaimed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in February of 1964. At that time more than half of deaths in the U.S. were caused by cardiovascular disease. Although the number of deaths caused by heart disease has decreased to 1 in 4, heart disease is still the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S.
The focus of American Heart Month 2018 is on younger adults aged 35-64. More younger adults than ever are dying of heart disease as we see a rise in the rates of risk factors such as physical inactivity, tobacco use and hypertension. While you can’t change things like age and family history, the good news is that by making healthy lifestyle choices you can lower your risk for heart disease by 80%.
Along with regular exercise, eating a heart-heathy diet is one of the best ways to prevent and manage high blood pressure. A heart healthy diet is rich in fruits (grapes and berries rich in antioxidants), vegetables (dark leafy greens in particular), whole-grains (brown rice, quinoa), low-fat dairy products, skinless poultry and fish, nuts and legumes, and non-tropical vegetable oils while limiting saturated and trans fats, sodium, red meat and sugary foods and beverages.
Did you know the average American eats about 3,400 mg of sodium per day? To meet the recommendation of 2,300 mg/day (1,500 mg for hypertensive individuals) you can make a shift to other seasonings. Salt is not the only thing that makes food taste good; here is a guide from www.heart.org to spices, herbs and flavorings to help you make better choices when seasoning food!
- Allspice: Lean meats, stews, tomatoes, peaches, applesauce, cranberry sauce, gravies, lean meat
- Almond extract: Puddings, fruits
- Basil: Fish, lamb, lean ground meats, stews, salads, soups, sauces, fish cocktails
- Bay leaves: Lean meats, stews, poultry, soups, tomatoes
- Caraway seeds: Lean meats, stews, soups, salads, breads, cabbage, asparagus, noodles
- Chives: Salads, sauces, soups, lean meat dishes, vegetables
- Cider vinegar: Salads, vegetables, sauces
- Cinnamon: Fruits (especially apples), breads
- Curry powder: Lean meats (especially lamb), veal, chicken, fish, tomatoes, tomato soup
- Dill: Fish sauces, soups, tomatoes, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, green beans, cucumbers, potatoes, salads, macaroni, lean beef, lamb, chicken, fish
- Garlic (not garlic salt): Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes
- Ginger: Chicken, fruits
- Lemon juice: Lean meats, fish, poultry, salads, vegetables
- Mustard (dry): Lean meats, chicken, fish, salads, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, sauces
- Nutmeg: Fruits, potatoes, chicken, fish, lean meat loaf, toast, veal, pudding
- Onion powder (not onion salt): Lean meats, stews, vegetables, salads, soups
- Paprika: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
- Parsley: Lean meats, fish, soups, salads, sauces, vegetables
- Pimiento: Salads, vegetables, casserole dishes
- Rosemary: Chicken, lean meat loaf, lean beef, lean pork, sauces, stuffings, potatoes, peas, lima beans
- Sage: Lean meats, stews, biscuits, tomatoes, green beans, fish, lima beans, onions, lean pork
- Thyme: Lean meats (especially veal and lean pork), sauces, soups, onions, peas, tomatoes, salads
- Turmeric: Lean meats, fish, sauces, rice
Written by Kasey Lockett