How Much Does The Average Baby Weight At 4 Months Healthy Changes for Heart Month

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Healthy Changes for Heart Month

From My Heart to Yours: Heart Disease Remains Number One Killer in the U.S. Please consider renewing your commitment to heart-healthy habits this month and beyond.

Knowing that heart disease affects so many people in the United States, I’m sure many of you can relate to my story. My father had a heart attack when I was 3 years old and died just 10 years later. A dear uncle followed, and then another uncle (Dad’s brothers). My mother had a heart attack in her 80s, which was the beginning of her declining health. Then, recently, I was diagnosed with heart disease. I was fortunate enough to receive good care at the Cleveland Clinic where the withdrawal procedure cured my symptoms – but I still take lifestyle precautions to prevent future problems.

I also have a birthday this month, and my health is at the center of my thoughts. Granted, I can’t do anything about genetics or age as a risk, but there’s a lot I can do! Just because I’m a registered dietitian, doesn’t mean I don’t have health problems – or bad habits for that matter! In recent years, caring for our elderly parents and recovering from heart problems have been difficult. But now that things have calmed down a bit, I am committed to making more beneficial changes. For me, it’s not just about losing weight; it’s about being healthy and having more energy to do the things I want to do. I’ve done most of the steps below, and now I’ve incorporated more of them into my routine. The steps are in no particular order. Don’t worry about making all the changes at once – pick a step that you feel you can handle, and go from there.

A few essentials: If you smoke, stop! Find a good smoking cessation program. Know your numbers: Manage your weight, cholesterol, LDL, and high blood pressure and blood glucose if you have diabetes. Find ways to stay active. Follow a plant-based diet, and follow your doctor’s orders for prescribed medications. Some of the steps below can help you get started.

Step 1: Increase your physical activity! Exercise lowers blood pressure, strengthens the heart, helps maintain a lean body, burns calories, and is comfortable! Walking is one of the easiest exercises to fit into your day. Experts recommend at least 10,000 steps per day (equivalent to 5 miles) – and yes, it is possible to fit this into a busy schedule. If you’re just starting out, go for 10 minutes at a time. Work your way up to at least 60 minutes most days to meet the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommendations.

Before you change your habits, talk to your doctor. Once you get the OK, use a fitness tracker or pedometer to count the number of steps you take each day to use as a starting point. I have worn a pedometer or Fitbit for over 10 years to help me stay on target. I love the feature on my Fitbit that reminds me to take at least 250 steps every hour! I no longer sit at my computer working for hours without moving.

Step 2: Cut out high-calorie drinks. Do you drink sugary drinks every day? 8 ounces of most sugary drinks contains over 100 calories, and most people don’t stop at 8 ounces. An extra 100 calories a day adds up to 3500 extra calories in just 5 weeks – which can mean extra weight – or 10 extra pounds in a year!

What about alcohol? Does that “healthy” 100 calorie glass of wine turn into 2 or more glasses a day? Alcohol burns calories quickly, and they can also weaken your resolve to control your diet.

Avoid sugary drinks and alcohol for at least 30 days to break the habit. Substitute unsweetened beverages such as water, sparkling water, sparkling water (lemon, lime, cucumber or fruit), hot tea or iced tea.

Step 3: Trim the saturated fat. Animal fats found in meat, poultry, full-fat dairy products (milk, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, etc.), salad dressings, and fried foods are full of saturated fat, which is associated with in heart disease. Reduce portions, trim visible fat from meat, remove skin from poultry, prepare meals using low-fat cooking methods (baking, grilling, grilling), and read labels to identify foods with polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats for better health. Skim or 1% milk, full-fat cheese and sour cream, low-fat yogurt, and other low-fat dairy options are available – and many of them are delicious!

Cans of healthy fats found at the grocery store can help control how much fat you consume. Choose healthy corn, safflower or olive oil to drizzle on food so you can bake instead of grilling or basting food with oil.

Step 4: Eat your vegetables and fruits! Eat a variety of colors: green, red, orange, yellow and fruits that contain nutrients and fiber that are essential for health. These foods are rich in vitamins C, A, potassium, antioxidants, phytochemicals; and naturally low in fat and sodium.

Fill at least half of your meal with vegetables, and grab some fresh fruit for a snack or dessert.

Step 5: Reduce sugar. I’ve always had a sweet tooth, but I cut back on sweets to improve my health and manage my weight. Most of us consume far more sugar than we realize. It sneaks into juices, jellies, jams, cookies, candies, cookies, pies, regular soda pop, cereals, bars, condiments, and many other foods.

Start with obvious sources of sugar and switch to naturally sweetened foods like fruit (fresh, canned without syrup, frozen without sugar, or dried – go easy here as these are concentrated sources of calories). And don’t think it’s better to switch to raw sugar, honey or agave syrup – it’s still simple sugar.

Read the label: find the number of grams of sugar in each food and choose other low sugar options. Another warning: some studies indicate that even foods and drinks with artificial sugar can cause cravings for sweets.

Step 6: Cut the sodium and increase the potassium. Nearly 1 in 3 American adults have high blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke, heart failure, and heart attack. A high sodium and low potassium diet has been linked to high blood pressure. Food is high in sodium. Years ago it was used to preserve food, but now we have taste buds and think that low-sodium foods are boring. To add a little zest to your diet, replace salt and high-sodium seasonings with naturally spicy ingredients like hot chili or jalapeno peppers (also high in vitamins and antioxidants), and your favorite salt-free seasonings. especially.

Be sure to read labels and avoid foods and drinks high in sodium.

Increasing potassium in your diet can help lower blood pressure. Bananas, oranges, sweet potatoes, and low sodium V-8 juice are some of my favorite (low sodium) sources of potassium.

Step 7: Switch to whole grains. Focus on whole grains for nutrient-dense foods that can lower blood cholesterol and improve normalcy. Whole grains are tastier than refined white bread, cereals, pasta, and rice.

Some of my favorite grains include rolled oats, kamut and quinoa. I cook my whole grains in the rice cooker, Instant Pot or bowl so I don’t have to monitor the cooking process which takes 45-50 minutes on the stove. Whole grains can be used to make a simple and delicious salad or eaten as a hot breakfast with fruit and nuts.

For a quick and delicious sweet cereal, I love old fashioned oats that are cooked on high for 2 minutes in the microwave and ready to eat. Top with dried cranberries and walnuts to add sweetness and texture. Quick and easy, inexpensive, tasty, filling – and healthy too!

Step 8: Reduce stress by taking time for yourself. With busy schedules, it’s important to take time out every day to relax, renew and rejuvenate! Walking is my time to relax, get away from everyday stress and enjoy fresh air, music, or time to talk with friends and family. Choose something every day that allows you to take time for yourself: yoga, meditation, a hot bath, or anything that helps you rejuvenate. Allow yourself at least 10-15 minutes a day – Yes, you can!

Step 9: Add practice and practice. Strength training is essential for maintaining muscle mass, strength and balance as we age. Stretching helps us prevent injury and reduce pain. Strengthening your body will protect you from back pain and injuries, improve posture and help you look better – and who doesn’t want that?

Step 10: Believe you can do it. It takes time to develop new healthy habits. Try something that you believe you can succeed at, and then move on. The most important key is to believe that you can make changes that become a lifelong commitment to your health.

Best wishes for a healthy future!

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