Heart Health Tip of The Week

Heart Healthy Tip of the Week

  1. Reduce calories.

If you eat more calories than you need, you usually gain weight. If you eat fewer calories, you usually lose weight.  To stay healthy and lose weight, most people need to subtract about 500 calories per day to lose 1 pound per week.  Make sure you are eating at least 1200 calories per day and don’t try to lose more than 2 pounds per week.  See your provider if you need advice on your caloric needs.

2 Educate yourself.

Learn how to read and understand food labels so you make healthier choices when shopping for food.  Look up restaurant menus on line and make your choice based on the nutritional numbers, not on what looks and smells good.  Research and try new recipes that use less fat & sodium and more vegetables & whole grains.

  1. Burn more calories through activity.

Regular physical activity helps to control weight and blood pressure and decrease the risk for heart diseases and stroke. 150 minutes of brisk walking every week will not only help you lose weight, it can also improve your quality of life by reducing stress.

Did you know that 75 percent of the sodium we eat comes from packaged and restaurant foods?

So what can you do? A well balanced healthy diet can still include amounts of sodium, the trick is to keep it in balance.  Try these tips.

  • When you are shopping for packaged or prepared foods, look at the labels and choose the product with the lowest amount of sodium (per serving).  The same food in another brand can have lower sodium.
  • Sometimes poultry has been injected with a sodium solution. Look for terms like “broth,” “saline” or “sodium solution”.
  • Try to find low or reduced sodium salad dressings, salsas, and olives as well as sauces like ketchup and mustard.  These types of condiments are usually high in sodium
  • If you buy canned or frozen vegetables, get the kind with no added salt or sauce.

It may take a while to get used to the taste of lower sodium in your meals.  Pick a few places to start and gradually change your ingredients.  Your heart will thank you for it!

Did you know that 1 in 5 adults in Yakima have high blood pressure?

High blood pressure is a leading controllable factor to prevent heart attack, heart Failure, stroke, and  kidney failure.  If your blood pressure in greater than 140/90, you have high blood pressure and should take action.  Some things  you can do is:  lose weight, exercise regularly, cut your salt intake and consider seeing your doctor about medical management.  Remember, Virginia Mason Memorial want you to “Have a Healthy Heart!”

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