February is American Heart Month!

man getting ready to start running

Join the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good campaign for updates and tidbits of information to stay heart healthy! Their website is full of great information. 

You help keep your cardiovascular system it’s healthiest by maintaining an active lifestyle full of good, nutritious food. 

Ways to fill yourself with good nutritious food. A heart healthy diet is full of fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains. It also includes low-fat meat and dairy, includes fish twice a week and emphasizes plant proteins over those from animals. Limit sugar, sodium (salt) and saturated fats.

  • Include fiber-rich food at each meal. 
    • A whole grain cereal (think oatmeal or shredded wheat) at breakfast
    • Whole grain toast/sandwich bread – look for 2 – 3 grams dietary fiber per slice.
    • Brown or wild rice – start out with a blend if you’re used to white rice. 
       
  • Have at least one serving of fruits and vegetables at each meal – your goal is 7 – 9 servings each day!
    • A cup of berries on your whole grain cereal at breakfast = 2 servings
    • A salad with 1 cup of greens and 1 cup of other veggies = 3 servings in this salad! Be sure to include a good source of protein (hard-boiled egg, grated cheese, kidney beans) and some good fat. Eat it with a whole grain cracker or roll, or, add ½ cup brown rice to the salad itself – yummy!
    • Load up that sandwich with cucumber slices, tomato slices, grated carrots and cabbage!! 
       
  • Swap unsaturated fat for saturated fat!
    • Instead of cheese or bacon on the salad (saturated animal fats), use nuts or seeds.
    • Substitute a liquid oil for butter where you can. A great example is a good quality olive oil for butter on your bread. Remember, though, all fats have 9 calories per gram.  It adds up quick.
    • Instead of cream cheese have nut butter on that whole grain bagel. 
       
  • Have a go at some meals featuring plant proteins. Things like beans, lentils, tofu, and quinoa have much less saturated fat than meat or dairy-based meals. Here are some recipes to try:

Go Red for Women is the Heart Association’s annual campaign to alert the public to the fact that women are as likely as men to suffer from heart disease. Take a look at all the fabulous resources!

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