Heart Disease Prevention

Heart disease may be the leading killer of men and women however there are a lot of tips that can keep you healthy. If you have already been diagnosed with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or already have heart disease there are many things you can do to improve your diet.

Many people feel there is no use and are not sure where to begin. Your physician can help you and also suggest that you speak with a dietician who can provide guidance on how to limit saturated fats and how to cut out trans fats from your diet. These two types of fat raise your bad cholesterol counts, which will increase your chance of risk for heart attack and stroke.
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Meeting with a dietician will help you to learn how to do the following:
1. Check food labels better. For example you will learn how to read food labels, such as starting with your popular snack foods. Many of the foods will have a reduced amount of solid fats, but will have trans-fat, and “partially hydrogenated “hidden fats.
2. Change eating habits to eating at least 4-6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
3. Substitute high fat foods for lower fat foods. For example use “smart balance”, instead of butter on a baked potato. You could also start using canola oil, sunflower, or safflower oil when cooking.
4. It is important to reduce the amount of canned or processed foods such as frozen dinners, canned soups, bacon, sausages, and lunch meats.
5. Create a heart healthy grocery shopping list so that you can stock up on healthy foods when shopping for the week. You can check out the websites of the American heart association for suggestions on risk factors for heart disease and healthy shopping tips.

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