By Luisa Siniscalchi
Heart Healthy Living
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, but it is preventable. Make cardiovascular health a priority! Here’s what you can do to keep your heart healthy.
Choose heart healthy foods. A heart-healthy eating plan includes plenty of vegetables and fruits and limits sodium (salt), saturated fats, added sugars, and alcohol.
Aim for a healthy weight. If you are over-weight or obese, a loss of just 3% to 5% of your current weight can lower triglycerides and glucose levels in your blood, as well as your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Losing more than 3% to 5% of your weight can improve blood pressure readings, lower LDL cholesterol, and increase HDL cholesterol.
Manage stress. Participate in stress-reducing activities such as:
- Talking to a professional counselor
- Practicing meditation
- Being physically active
- Trying relaxation techniques like deep breathing or guided imagery
- Talking with friends, family, and community or religious support systems
Get regular physical activity. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that each week, adults get at least:
- 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity, or
- 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, or
- A combination of both moderate-intensity and vigorous-intensity activity.
Another way you can begin to increase your activity level is by reducing how long you sit at a given time. Breaking up how long you sit will benefit your overall health.
Get enough sleep. make sure that you allow yourself enough time to sleep. It may help to:
- Spend time outside every day and be physically active
- Avoid nicotine and caffeine
- Avoid heavy meals and alcoholic beverages within a couple hours of bedtime.
- Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day
- Keep your bedroom quiet, cool, and dark.
Quit smoking. Quitting smoking greatly reduces the risk of recurrent heart attack and cardiovascular death. Heart disease risk associated with smoking begins to decrease soon after you quit, and for many people it continues to decrease over time.
Heart Healthy Baked Salmon Recipe
- 4 Salmon fillets about 6 oz each
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- 1-2 tsp minced garlic
- 1-2 tsp of dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, parsley, oregano, basil)
- ¼ tsp of salt and pepper, or to taste
- 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 400F
- In a small bowl stir together olive oil, garlic, herbs, salt, pepper, and juice of 1/2 lemon.
- Place salmon in a greased baking pan or use parchment paper. Spoon olive oil mixture over salmon fillets and rub all over the tops and sides of the salmon so there are no dry spots.
- Thinly slice the remaining 1/2 of lemon and place on top of each piece of salmon.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until salmon is opaque and flaky and has reached an internal temperature of 145F.