love your heart2

For the Love of Your Heart!

Ladies, please read this for the love of your heart! In Canada, heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death, with these diseases killing 7 times as many women as breast cancer.

By: Kelly Atyeo, B.A.Sc., M.H.Sc., P.H.Ec. 

Ladies, please read this for the love of your heart! In Canada, heart disease and stroke is the leading cause of death, with these diseases killing 7 times as many women as breast cancer.Research shows that lifestyle factors, including diet and exercise, can reduce the chances of heart disease and strokes.2 This means you can take steps to reduce your risk!  

Improving Heart Health

Focus on reducing the risk factors of heart disease and strokes that you can control. These include: smoking, high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, physical inactivity and your weight.3,4,5

Smoking: It is estimated 37,000 deaths in Canada are related to smoking, with about 11,000 resulting from heart disease or strokes.6 Quitting smoking is not an easy task, but it will improve your heart health for the better.

High Blood Pressure, Cholesterol, Diabetes and Unhealthy Weight: All of these risk factors can be reduced by eating a healthy balanced diet and taking part in physical activity throughout your day.

Diet

When you eat a healthy diet, your heart thanks you! A healthy diet consists of a balance of the food groups from Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.7

Think of heart healthy eating as choosing MORE and LESS.

Choose MORE: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low fat dairy products, low fat meats/alternatives, healthy fats (omega 3s and omega 6s).

Choose LESS: heavily processed foods, fatty cuts of meat, high-fat dairy products, unhealthy fats (trans fats and saturated fats).

Make it Taste Good!

If eating heart healthy means not using as much fat in your cooking and lowering the amount of sodium, how is the food you eat supposed to taste good? 

Spice it up: Garlic and ginger are great flavours to add to recipes to boost up flavour. You are cutting out the salt, but not compromising taste! 

Below is a great Asian Chicken Meatball recipe that is low in sodium, but big on taste! 

Asian Chicken Meat Balls

Oil vs. Butter: Cook with heart healthy oils instead of butter, which contains a lot of saturated fat. These include: olive oil, canola oil and sesame oil. 

Below is a delicious recipe using sesame oil to stir fry chicken! 

Bhutanese Chili Chicken with Red Rice

Cook it healthy: Try to avoid the deep fryer. Choose cooking methods that allow the least amount of fat to be used to develop flavours in your food. Grilling, roasting, and baking are all great options. 

Below is a super easy baked chicken recipe that is low in saturated fat and sodium: 

Easy Herb Baked Chicken

Physical Activity 

It is recommended that adults have a minimum of 150 minutes/week of moderate to vigorous physical activity.8

Physical Activity doesn’t need to mean hitting the treadmill at the gym. The best way to be active is to incorporate physical activity into your leisure time or at work.

Here are some options:

  • meet a friend for an evening walk instead of sitting for coffee
  • take the stairs instead of the elevator at work
  • get up 10 minutes early and do a couple sets of jumping jacks
  • plan a family outing that includes physical activity (like biking, hiking, or apple picking)
  • walk around the track at your child’s soccer game or sporting events

By eating healthy and being physically active you are making your health a priority. Do it for the love of your heart! 

References: 

  1. Heart and Stroke Foundation. (2010). Women and Heart Disease: The Heart Truth. Retrieved October 12, 2012, from www.heartandstroke.ab.ca/site/c.lqIRL1PJJtH/b.5889287/k.12DD/Women_and_heart_disease_The_Heart_Truth.htm
  2. Buttar, H.S., Li, T., Ravi, N. (2005). Prevention of cardiovascular diseases: Role of exercise, dietary interventions, obesity and smoking cessation. Experimental & Clinical Cardiology, 10(4), 229-249. 
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2009). Prevention: What You Can Do. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from www.cdc.gov/heartdisease/what_you_can_do.htm
  4. Heart and Stroke Foundation. (2012). Statistics. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm 
  5. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Risk Factors. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from www.nhlbi.nih.gov/hbp/hbp/hdrf.htm
  6. Heart and Stroke Foundation. (2012). Statistics. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm 
  7. Health Canada. (2010). It’s Your Health. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hl-vs/alt_formats/pdf/iyh-vsv/food-aliment/healthy-eating-saine-alimentation-eng.pdf
  8. Heart and Stroke Foundation. (2011). Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada Position Statement: Physical Activity, Heart Disease and Stroke. Retrieved October 1, 2012, from www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.5263145/k.FA7C/Physical_Activity_Heart_Disease_and_Stroke.htm

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