February is American Heart month and that means it's a good time to think about being heart healthy.
Heart Disease kills more than 600,000 Americans each year. It is the leading killer among both men and women.
There are lots of things we can do to stay heart healthy.
According to the Center for Disease Control, making these healthy lifestyle choices can help:
- Choose lean meats and poultry without skin
- Select fat-free, 1% fat, or low-fat dairy products.
- Cut back on foods with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils.
- Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
- Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
- Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
- If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation.
- Keep an eye on your portion sizes.
It's also important to know the signs of an impending heart attack, because they can start slowly and symptoms may seem mild.
According to the National Heart, Lung, & Blood Institute, these are the signs that may mean that a heart attack is in progress:
- Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness, or pain.
- Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw, or stomach.
- Shortness of breath, with or without chest discomfort.
Many of us aren’t doing enough to take care of our hearts. Start getting heart healthy today with the above tips.
For more information about Heart Disease, visit the American Heart Association’s website at www.heart.org.