Heart Healthy Tips for American Heart Month

It’s American Heart Month! Heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women. There are a few simple ways to help prevent heart disease. The first step is to exercise! Use your City Fitness membership to exercise at least 30 minutes three times per week. I know you’re doing even more than that so keep it up! Let’s get down to it and talk about a healthy diet for a healthy heart.

How to Have a Healthy Heart

A heart healthy diet revolves around sticking to low sodium options and generally less fat, but not eliminating healthy fats. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting sodium to 2,300 mg per day. If you have heart disease, this recommendation falls to 1,500 mg per day. One teaspoon of table salt contains 2,300 mg of sodium – this is your limit!

Foods to Limit:

  • Salty snacks like chips and pretzels
  • Processed meats like bacon
  • Sausage and lunch meat
  • Cheese
  • Frozen dinners
  • Canned soups
  • Condiments like ketchup, hot sauce, and barbecue sauce.

If you choose to eat the foods listed above, keep it to a minimum and keep your portion sizes in check. A little goes a long way when it comes to cheese and condiments. Look for low sodium options if you’re going for anything else. My number one tip to limit sodium is to eat fresh foods! Fresh fruits, vegetables, and proteins are naturally low in sodium. When cooking fresh foods add flavor with pepper, herbs, spices, citrus, garlic or onions for a low sodium dish. Also, remember to check the nutrition facts label! A low sodium food has less than 150 mg of sodium per serving. One more thing – if you smoke, stop! You can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke just by quitting.

Learn more at HERE at Heart Org