When people think of colors that represent the month of February, they often think of red, pink, and white for Valentine’s Day. But did you know that February is also National Heart Health Month? According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease every year. Heart disease can be caused by a variety of factors, many of which can be controlled through healthy lifestyle changes including diet, exercise, weight management, and not smoking.
Heart disease results when plaque builds up in artery walls, making them narrow and reducing the amount of blood flow throughout the body. Plaque buildup can be caused by blood cholesterol and high blood pressure, both of which may be controlled by diet.
Foods that may raise blood cholesterol include:
Foods that may raise blood pressure include:
Show your heart some love this month by incorporating foods that may lower blood cholesterol and blood pressure!
Foods that may lower blood cholesterol include:
Foods that may lower blood pressure include:
Now that you know what foods to include more of and what foods to include less of for a healthy heart, the next step is how to incorporate them into your family’s diet. Try these ideas below!
Breakfast: Oatmeal or whole-grain cereal with skim milk, a banana, and a glass of orange juice
Lunch: Peanut butter and jelly on whole-wheat bread with baby carrots and low-fat string cheese
Snack: Low-fat Greek yogurt with walnuts
Dinner: Whole-wheat pasta with tomato sauce, broccoli, and a side salad with lettuce, tomato, garbanzo beans, and olive oil dressing
Dessert: Apple with peanut butter and a dark chocolate square
This month and Valentine’s Day, show yourself and your family some love by choosing a heart-healthy diet!