- By Jessica DeGore
- In Uncategorized
- February 13, 2019
Thank Your Heart for Its Hard Work During American Heart Month
You might’ve noticed some flashy dressing on Friday, February 1st, especially if you work in the healthcare industry. That’s because it was National Wear Red Day, a day designed to raise awareness of the fact that heart disease remains the leading case of death among Americans—including women.
National Wear Red Day helps to kick off a celebration of heart health known as American Heart Month. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute teams up with other organizations such as the American Heart Association (AHA) to host events across the country and offer resources that empower individuals to take control of their heart health. The biggest takeaway from American Heart Month is this: heart disease may be deadly, but it’s largely preventable with a healthy lifestyle.
To combat heart disease, the AHA encourages everyone to enjoy a varied and colorful diet, including ample amounts of fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, and fiber-rich whole grains. They also tout the importance of limiting sugar, saturated and trans fats, and sodium in order to keep your heart healthy. In addition to embracing a nutritious diet, the experts also suggest you skip the tobacco—as it can increase your risk of heart disease—and that you get active for at least 150 minutes a week (or 75 minutes if it’s vigorous exercise).
If you missed Wear Red Day, it’s not too late to celebrate American Heart Month! In fact, with Valentine’s Day tomorrow, there’s no better time to show your ticker some love. Start by committing to the AHA’s guidelines and making one or two tweaks to your daily routine as a result—or encouraging a friend or family member to take on the challenge. One simple step you can take is making this heart-healthy turkey chili recipe from the AHA. It’s low in sodium and saturated fat, but packed with plenty of fiber and protein!
Turkey Chili (view full recipe on the AHA website)
Michelle Cullen, RDN, LDN is a writer and outpatient dietitian located in the suburbs of Philadelphia.