Heart Health Month

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February is American Heart Month which is a great time to focus on ways to be more heart healthy. 

Many people are aware that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. In recent reports, it was found that heart disease is also the leading cause of death in Randolph County (2022). While this is concerning, the good news is that there are a lot of things we can do to protect our health. 

It’s important to talk to your doctor about what is healthy for you in regards to blood pressure, cholesterol, body weight, and blood sugar levels. Your healthcare provider can talk to you about how these factors impact your risk for heart disease. 

Another thing you can do is learn about ways to live a heart-healthy lifestyle. This includes eating a healthy diet, maintaining a healthy weight, being physically active, refraining from smoking, and getting enough sleep. 

Heart-healthy eating involves eating more fruits and vegetables and limiting sodium and saturated fats. The National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute has more information on eating heart healthy and the DASH Diet plan

When you’re shopping for groceries, look for HeartCheck certified foods that have the AHA (American Heart Association) heart check symbol on the package. This symbol lets us know that the item has gone through the certification process to meet the criteria as a heart healthy food item. 

Making meals at home with simple ingredients gives you more control over what goes into your food. This means you can make healthy meals that will help you meet your goals. The American Heart Association has several heart healthy recipes to choose from on their website. You can see them at Heart.org – Recipes

The Raspberry-Lemonade Slushie recipe is a pink drink perfect for February (2018). It’s simple to make in a blender with just four ingredients: raspberries, sugar substitute, lemon juice, and ice cubes.

You can always take a class to learn more about how to make heart-healthy choices while eating out. Join us in the office on February 7th at 1:00 p.m. to learn more about how to navigate menus and make healthier choices while dining out at the event Dining Out Heart Healthy. 

Sign up with Eventbrite and save your spot. It’s FREE! 

Making heart healthy changes isn’t about complete perfection. Lasting change often comes by taking it one step at a time. Every step you take is progress. That might mean trying a new heart healthy recipe or making a swap at a restaurant. 

If you’d like more information, feel free to call or send me an email at j_holmes@ncsu.edu

References: 

  1. Randolph County Public Health, Randolph Health. (2022). 2022 Randolph County Community Health Assessment. Randolph County Public Health, Randolph Health. 
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2023, March 17). Prevent high blood pressure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  3. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (n.d.). Choose heart-healthy foods. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute.  
  4. Raspberry-Lemonade slushie. recipes.heart.org. (2018, May 29).