The PriMed Connecticut Heart & Vascular Center
supports the American Heart Association’s
February American Heart Month.
Did you know that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and that one in every three deaths is from heart disease and stroke, equal to 2,200 deaths per day? Cardiac and Vascular Physician Dr. Robert Sackstein of PriMed Connecticut Heart & Vascular Center of Bridgeport and Shelton offers ways below that can help both men and women prevent heart disease.
1. Keep a healthy heart by following these diet tips:
- Limit your saturated fat intake (<7% of daily calories), trans fat (<1% of daily calories) and dietary cholesterol (<300 mg).
- Choose monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and canola oil.
- Eat low fat, high protein options such as lean meat, fish, white meat chicken, and low fat dairy products.
- Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Increase your intake of Omega 3 fatty acids, which can be found in walnuts, almonds, soybeans, and flaxseed.
- Trans fats in bakery products
- Partially hydrogenated margarine
- High fat content meats and dairy products
- Non-dairy creamers (hydrogenated oils)
2. Above all, watch your calories and keep your weight at an optimal level. Knowing your Body Mass Index (BMI), the measure of body fat based on height and weight, provides a good indicator of body fat for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.
See the National Heart Lung & Blood Institute link below for a BMI calculator tool.
3. Beware of misleading food labeling. Low cholesterol foods may be unhealthy. They may NOT necessarily be low fat, low calorie or low sodium.
4. Exercise for a healthy heart by following these guidelines:
- Focus on aerobic exercise.
- Gradually build up to 20-30 minutes of aerobic exercise, ideally at least 3 days a week and preferably most days of the week.
- Strength training is a great complement but it is not a substitute for aerobic exercise.
See the Web MD link below for more exercise tips.
Tools and Resources
- The Mayo Clinic website has a heart disease risk calculator tool that can help you to find out your risk of having a heart attack or dying of heart disease within the next 10 years. Visit this link below to assess your risk now. Please note that this is just a tool and not a substitute to seeing your doctor. www.mayoclinic.com/health/heart-disease-risk/HB00047.
- National Heart Lung & Blood Institute Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator: www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi.
- Web MD link for exercise tips: www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/exercise-healthy-heart.
- Go Red BetterU – a free 12-week online nutrition and fitness program for a heart makeover by the American Heart Association. http://www.goredforwomen.org/home/live-healthy/betteru-nutrition-and-fitness-program/
Dr. Robert Sackstein of the PriMed Connecticut Heart & Vascular Center is Board Certified in cardiovascular disease, nuclear cardiology, echocardiography and internal medicine.
Dr. Sackstein’s areas of expertise include nuclear cardiology, echocardiography, cardiac arrhythmias and aggressive lipid reduction including pharmacologic, dietary and alternative therapies.
For more information on the physicians and services of the PriMed Connecticut Heart & Vascular Center, please visit www.cthvc.com.
About American Heart Month
The American Heart Association’s goal for February’s American Heart Month is to bring awareness to cardiovascular disease and the efforts to stop America’s No. 1 killer of men and women. For more information on American Heart Month, visit the American Heart Association.
About Go Red for Women
Go Red for Women is a movement that celebrates the energy, passion and power women have to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke. For more information about the movement, visit www.goredforwomen.org