3 Tips for a Healthy Heart

February 3, 2017

February is Heart Health Month, and there’s no better time to do a quick check on the foods you are eating. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S., according to the Center for Disease Control, and the Heart and Stroke Foundation in Canada states that strokes kill 32% more women than men.

Needless to say, it pays to be aware of what you can do at home to promote a heart-healthy diet for your family. The good news is, our cardiovascular health is largely under our control. Eating a diet rich in fruits, veggies, lean protein and fiber can considerably reduce the risk of heart disease.

Heart Healthy Shopping Tips for Seniors

Eating better is one of the Heart Association’s “Simple 7” factors for improved heart health. When you maintain a healthy diet along with regular physical exercise and other good habits, you’ll not only feel better, but you’ll live longer — and of course we want our senior loved ones to stay healthy and vital for as long as possible, too. Here are some tips on what to eat, what not to eat, and how to succeed when the going gets tough.

1. Buy colorful fruits and vegetables.

Low in calories, high in vitamins, minerals and fiber — adults should get at least five servings per day of these nutrition powerhouses.

2. Avoid buying high fat dairy or meat.

Look for skinless cuts of lean meat with the least amount of visible fat. Cuts that say “loin” after them, like sirloin and tenderloin, are often leaner cuts. Ground meats should have less than 20% fat, whether it’s chicken, turkey, pork or beef. Yogurt, milk, cheese and other dairy products should also be low in fat — 2% “reduced fat” or less.

The one kind of fat you do want your loved ones to get plenty of is fatty fish: two servings a week of salmon, trout, or other oily fish can help lower the risk of heart disease and increase the body’s level of healthy omega-3s.

3. Buy plenty of nuts and high fiber foods.

Fiber can help lower blood cholesterol, and it keeps you full, which helps you maintain a healthy weight. You can find fiber in fruits, veggies, beans and whole-grain breads and cereals, as well as in nuts. Almonds and walnuts also have plenty of other valuable nutrients and have been shown in recent studies to have a significant impact on heart health.

For more heart-healthy tips, check out our blog page throughout the month of February. 

If you need information on retirement living, call Alora at 828-465-8552.