Friday Free for All – Heart Health


I did cook this week but I did not try any new recipes, so in lieu of a Fit Hits the Pan post I will share some info to wrap up Heart Month! Did you know the #1 killer in the United States is Cardiovascular Disease? By controlling diet and getting active, this disease can be prevented. Here are some stats from The American Heart Association:

  • From 1999-2009, the death rate from Cardiovascular Disease (CVD) declined by 33%
  • CVD takes the lives of more than 2,150 American each day
  • Less than 1% of U.S. adults meet the definition for “Ideal Healthy Diet”, essentially no children meet the goal.
  • 32 million adults have total serum cholesterol levels >240
  • An estimated 78 million adults are hypertensive (high blood pressure)

(Source: 2012, American Heart Association)

Heart Disease – Several problems related to plaque buildup in the walls of the arteries or atherosclerosis. As the plaque builds up, the arteries narrow, making it difficult for blood to flow and creating risk for heart attack or stroke.

Steps you can take!

  1. Avoid Processed Foods – Processed foods range from minimally processed (bagged spinach, pre-cut vegetables, frozen vegetables) to highly processed (frozen dinners, frozen pizzas). Not all processed foods are bad but you should avoid any foods that are moderately to highly processed.
  2. Avoid Sodium – 90% of Americans age 2 and older eat too much sodium¹. It is everywhere, often hidden in foods that appear healthy like tomato sauces, canned vegetables, or pre-made salads. Do your homework! Be sure to read labels and nutrition information at your favorite restaurants. The recommended daily intake for a healthy adult is 1500-2000 mg².
  3. Know Your Fats – Limit your saturated fats and cholesterol avoid trans fats. Stick to oils with unsaturated fats like canola, olive and avocado. Oils that are liquid at room temperature are best. Remember to use any oil in moderation! There are a number of healthier substitutes for baking and cooking.
  4. Add Variety to Your Diet – Consume a diet of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean protein.
  5. Hydrate  – Drink at least 8 – 8 oz glasses of water per day. Water keeps you hydrated and cleans the toxins out of your cells.
  6. Exercise  – Get active! At a minimum, commit to at least 30 minutes of exercise 3-5 times per week.


¹Center for Disease Control and Prevention,, 2012
²American Heart Association,, 2014




One thought on “Friday Free for All – Heart Health

  1. Pingback: Ted Talk Thursday ~ Heart Healthy | In Da Campo

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