MAKING SMALL, POSITIVE LIFESTYLE CHANGES CAN HELP MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE IN YOUR HEART’S HEALTH.
It's been six months since the start of the new year and chances are you may have fallen off the healthy eating bandwagon a few times. But whether you’ve gotten off track or not, now is a great time to focus on more heart healthy food choices and behaviors. REDUCE SALT AND SUGAR, PERK UP YOUR FOOD WITH HERBS AND SPICES.
Instead of reaching for the salt, add some zest to your dishes with ingredients like garlic and onion powder, or better yet try some fresh herbs. A little experimentation and you’ll be surprised at how little you feel the need to add salt. And to cut down on sugar, look for products like Ragú® No Sugar Added Tomato Basil
.COOK AT HOME MORE OFTEN.
If you prepare your meals at home, you have control over the ingredients — especially additions like salt. You can also control portion sizes with more ease. You can, however, still enjoy eating out while choosing heart-healthy options. When browsing a menu, look for the nutritional information (or ask for it if you cannot find it on the menu) and aim for no more than 600 mg of sodium in meals and no more than 200 mg in snacks. Don’t be afraid to ask your server if the restaurant has healthier options, and be mindful of portions by taking home half your meal. PUMP UP POTASSIUM
Eating foods high in potassium and low in sodium may reduce the risk of high blood pressure, a risk factor for stroke and heart disease. Try incorporating items like lentils, granola, avocado, tomatoes, spinach and other dark leafy greens into your diet. BOOST YOUR OMEGA-3S.
Look for foods enhanced with omega-3 fats, including eggs, milk, and yogurt. Omega-3s, especially those found in fish are important for good health, so enjoy salmon, rainbow trout and other fatty fish two to three times per week. EXERCISE GOES HAND IN HAND WITH HEART HEALTH.
Along with healthy eating, choose to be active every day. Take a stretch break, sign up for a lunchtime fitness class or go for a walk after dinner. Or try a yoga or Tai Chi DVD. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity daily to feel better and boost your heart health.
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