Health

10 Tips to Prioritize Your Heart Health

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10 Tips to Prioritize Your Heart Health

February is American Heart Month and The American Heart Association is celebrating 100 years of lifesaving work and counting. In keeping with that theme, we continue the month of love by taking a moment to show some extra love and appreciation to your heart health by exploring 10 simple tips to keep a healthy heart and diet. 

To cut through the hype and make life EASIER, we have borrowed this list of 10 habits you can incorporate within your day to day from the American Heart Association.

It outlines 10 simple ways to streamline what you eat to help keep your heart (and entire body!) healthy, fit, and strong.

And the best part? 

These tips will also help move you closer to your health/fitness goals.

You’ll also see they aren’t focused on deprivation OR perfection — instead, it’s all about eating delicious, healthy, and nutrient-packed food! For those of you who have just finished our Winter Kickstart or form part of our LIFE Program, this is a familiar concept. However, if you are not and you are noticing that this is an area that seems challenging, do not get discouraged, WE GOT YOU! We would love to go into more detail about how we can support you in your nutrition journey. Click on the HERE to learn more about our nutritional program!

For now, let’s focus on a couple of ways that you can show your heart some love with making better food choices that will elevate your heart health. Since we know you how much you appreciate a good list,  

10 Ways to Show Your Heart Some Love (with FOOD!)

  1. Balance calories with physical activity — don’t eat more food than you can burn off
    • A good practice that will help with this is to keep a food journal to see what you are consuming in a day and how many calories you intake in a day.
  2. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables — choose lots of colorful produce
    • Try to incorporate these in all your meals! Spinach, bell peppers, cauliflower, strawberries, blueberries, and apples are just a couple of our favorites! 
  3. When you eat grains, make sure they are whole (not processed) — read those labels!
    • There is so much benefit in reading nutritional labels, especially with processed foods, like breads and pastas. Picking grains over processed foods offers a number of health benefits, processed grains, which are stripped of valuable nutrients in the refining process.
  4. Include healthy protein sources at every meal
    • Protein is a source of energy and is VITAL to your heart. Consuming healthy proteins (chicken, turkey, beef, cottage cheese, non-fat greek yogurt, tofu, eggs, just to name a few)  from plant and animal sources as part of a balanced diet can help lower your risk of heart disease.
  5. Use liquid non-tropical plant oils like avocado and olive oil
    • Both olive oil and avocado oil are considered “good fats” and are an excellent source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which can help improve heart health by reducing cholesterol.
  6. Eat minimally processed foods — focus on “real” whole foods as much as you can
    • Making it a point to pick whole foods as opposed to processed foods helps the body take in essential nutrients into the body, making it less strenuous for the heart to work. 
  7. Avoid added sugars — they’re just empty calories that drain your energy and your health, plus they’re linked with weight gain
    • Less added sugar can lower those levels and may help stop weight gain and fat buildup linked to heart disease.
  8. Cut back on salt — according to the FDA, 90% of us (!!!) eat too much sodium… aim for less than 2,300 mg a day (about 1 teaspoon)
    • Studies have shown that salt reduction leads to lower blood pressure and salt reduction in the general population to reduce risk of death from cardiovascular disease.
  9. Limit alcohol (or avoid it!)
    • Limiting or reducing the amount of alcohol consumption is related to lower risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and of ischemic stroke, which is characterized by blockage of blood vessels that supply the brain.
  10. Put this list on repeat for all your meals and snacks
    • Consistency is KEY!

Remember, establishing new habits takes time, so give yourself grace as you continue to build on your health journey. Keep in mind that we are also here to help and support you every step of the way and form part of your team!  

Committed to your success,

Your Recoup Team

Health