Each February brings American Heart Month, a time to refocus attention on behaviors that may contribute to our compromise our heart health. The American Heart Association estimates that 83.6 million Americans are living with cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death among both men and women. The good news is that heart disease is largely in our control; by making smart lifestyle choices, we can significantly reduce our risk. Here’s what you can do:
Maintain a heart-healthy diet. This includes a variety of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meat and low-fat dairy products. Limit saturated and trans fats, which contribute to high cholesterol levels. Also monitor your daily intake of sugar and sodium. The average adult should only consume 2,300 mg of sodium, and adults 51 or older, with high blood pressure, or with diabetes should limit it to just 1,500 mg.