Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Heart Disease

As a way to study for my nutrition finals, I have decided to share with you all some of the basic facts that I have been learning about different diseases.  The first one I will write abut is heart disease, also known as Cardiovascular Disease (CVD).

CVD is on the top of the list in terms of common diseases in the US.  The good news is that it is preventable and treatable if well monitored and taken care of.  The first step in prevention is to eat a healthy diet.  This means making 60-100% of your diet come from whole food sources (i.e. not from a box, can, freezer section, pre-made meal, etc.).

Next is fat intake.  If you begin right now and swap any pre-made food for fresh, whole food one time every day, your heart will already thank you and begin to improve its health and strength because those pre-made foods tend to have a lot of hidden fat that is completely unnecessary.  If you are craving a fatty food, opt for avocados, or raw unsalted nuts and seeds.  Nature has provided us with an abundance of food choices!

If you have not done so already, get you lipid profile checked.  These tests help to measure fat content in your blood and can be good indicators of high blood pressure and future heart disease.  For a healthy body, this is what you should strive for:

  • Total cholesterol- less than 200mg/dL
  • LDL- less than 130 mg/dL
  • HDL - greater than 40 mg/dL
  • Triglycerides - less than 150 mg/dL
As part of a healthy lifestyle, physical activity should also be included.  If you already exercise, great!  Keep it up!  If you are not physically active, that's okay too!   You can start right now by simply standing up and either going for a walk or just practice sitting down and standing back up again.  Being physically active does not mean you need a gym membership.  There are so many free sources on YouTube, workout videos at the local library, and even cleaning your home is physical activity!!  How great is that? Cleaning your home is like a 2 for the price of 1 deal:  you get exercise and a tidy place to live!!

Keep your heart healthy and strong today by swapping a processed food for a whole one and by getting that beautiful body moving!

Leave a comment below of your favorite snack or exercise!

Luana ola!