Celebrate Heart Month!

                            Celebrate Heart Month with six steps for a better life!  People become discouraged when they set vast goals.  These overwhelming goals zap our motivation and we lose our focus.  We need baby steps to keep our goals achievable and reasonable.  The following steps will help us towards a healthier plan in 2012.


Step One:  Go Meatless Once a Week During February

Research has shown too much animal fat can increase your risk of diabetes and cancer as well as your waistline.  According to a clinical dietitian, “eating a vegetarian diet lowers your body mass index (BMI) and decreases your blood pressure and risk for many chronic diseases.”

Step Two:  Shake Your Salt Habit During March and April

Sodium, while needed for our bodies to function properly, can cause high blood pressure if used too frequently.  Many of us do not add salt to our meals which is a start for healthier living, however, over 80% of the sodium we consume comes from processed foods including breads and rolls and restaurants.  To help lower our salt intake use the following tips:

  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Look for low sodium or “no salt added” versions of foods.
  • Season foods with herbs and spices instead of salt.

Step Three:  Think Outside the Box for May and June

While prepackaged food have alot going for them (it seems they can last forever), these items have preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, partially hydrogenated oils, and sodium.  Again, try and substitute fresh fruits and veggies for some of these foods.

Step Four:   Eat the Rainbow in July and August

The new MyPlate guidelines from the US Department of Agriculture show us how to eat a balanced meal with a colorful plate.  One half of the plate should be fruits an vegetables, one quarter of the plate should be whole grains and one quarter should be lean proteins.  The serving of low fat dairy is on the side pictured as a glass of milk. 

Step Five:  During September and October, Seek Out Superfoods

Superfoods can include salmon and sardines which contain omega-3 fatty acids which aid in lowering your heart disease risk and can help with arthritis.  Green tea, also considered a superfood, contains antioxidants that have been known to fight cancer.  Other foods in this category include the fabulous blueberry which contains phytoflavinoids, antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C helping to lower your risk for heart disease.  Add dark, leafy greens such as spinach and you are adding vitamin A, iron and omega-3’s cancer fighting nutrients. 

Step Six:  The Fat Where It’s At But Which Kind – Know Your Fats in November and December

The key to fat in the diet is choosing the right kind and yes there is a right kind.  Fat is needed in our diets for certain vitamin absorption and satiety.  Steer clear of labels stating hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated which translate to trans fats.  Substituting fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, and liquid vegetable oils will help lower cholesterol levels. 

Bottom Line:  Changes for Healthier Life

Making lifestyle changes is still is the best way to keep you healthier in 2012.  If you want to lose 20 pounds in 2012, contact us for our new program,  Lose 20 in 12!  And Celebrate Heart Month!


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