February is American Heart Month
Kate Williams, R.D.
For many of us, our days are hectic as we try to meet the demands of work and the needs of our families. At the end of the day, we frequently miss the mark and fail to take care of ourselves. It's easy to make poor food choices because "I just don't have time to cook" and skip exercise because "I'm just too tired". These might seem like reasonable excuses in the short term, but poor diet and lack of activity will take a toll on our health, especially the health of our hearts.
February is American Heart Month. Make the commitment this month to improve your heart's health. One way to do this is to focus on what you SHOULD eat instead of what you SHOULD NOT eat! In November 2011, US News & World Report ranked the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) Diet Eating Plan the #1 Best and Healthiest Diet Plan. This plan is a great way to put heart healthy eating into practice. The DASH diet is lower in sodium, and low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and total fat. It is rich in vegetables and fruit, fish, poultry, beans, seeds, nuts and low-fat or non-fat dairy.
Try to include beneficial nutrients and food groups in your heart healthy eating plan. For example, potassium is an element and electrolyte that helps counteract the effects of sodium in the body, thus helping to control blood pressure. Dietary sources of potassium include veggies and fruit, especially bananas, potatoes, oranges and tomatoes. Whole grain foods, like oatmeal, whole wheat bread and brown rice are also good choices for a heart healthy diet. These foods are generally high in fiber and other nutrients that may help to reduce the risk of heart disease. Not sure if your favorite foods are heart healthy? The American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark identifies products that meet criteria for a heart-healthy food as part of an overall sensible eating pattern. Check out a complete list of Campbell products that are certified by the American Heart Association and carry the Heart-Check mark.
Make a commitment today to follow a heart healthy diet. Check out the Campbell Healthy Eating Plan for delicious menus that feature some of your favorite products and are consistent with the DASH Diet Eating Plan and the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. These menus also include potassium rich fruits and vegetables as well as whole grain products to help you on your path to a healthy heart!
Kate received her bachelor degree in dietetics from the University of Delaware and then completed a dietetic internship at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. She has over nine years of experience in a variety of nutrition-related practice areas including clinical nutrition, weight management counseling, health and wellness and nutrition education. Kate has worked as a nutrition consultant to the Cambell Soup Company since 2005.
Disclaimer:Please note that the Heart-Check Food Certification does not apply to recipes or information reached through links unless expressly stated.