7 Heart-Healthy Tips for Being Heart Smart

February is American Heart Month, and the best way to celebrate is by being heart-healthy! With the cold, wintery weather, it can be difficult to stay motivated. With these tips you can stay on track to keep your heart happy and healthy:

  1. Heart shaped fruit in heart shaped bowlAim to eat two and a half to five cups of fruits and/or veggies each day.
  2. Fiber-up by choosing whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, and pastas. Swap brown rice for white rice and even try quinoa, barley, or bulgur. You won’t be disappointed!
  3. Try switching to liquid oils like olive, canola, and peanut.
  4. It’s okay to pile on the beans. Their soluble fiber content binds the “bad” LDL cholesterol, and they are protein-rich, which can make a good substitute for meat.
  5. Choose fattier fish like tuna, salmon, mackerel, herring, and lake trout to get more omega-3’s. Also include other sources of omega-3 through walnuts, ground flax seeds, chia seeds, canola oil, and fortified foods.
  6. Just because the word trans-fat is not on the product does not mean it is not included. It’s also known as partially hydrogenated oil, so take a peek at those labels and ingredient lists, and be careful what you choose while dining out.
  7. Say no to added sugars! Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and highly processed foods.

OSF St. Joseph Medical Center takes heart health seriously. As the exclusive sponsor for the American Heart Association Go Red for Women movement in McLean County, our goal is to ensure all women in the Bloomington-Normal area know about the major risk factors of heart disease, and how to live a heart-healthy life.

To learn more about the various OSF St. Joseph initiatives and classes supporting heart health, please click here.

Happy Heart Month everyone!