To many, February is all about Valentines Day and celebrating love, but February is also American Heart Health Month and I can’t let it go by without shedding some light on what continues to be the number one cause of death in men and women in the United States.
Our family was forever changed after Don’s quadruple bypass 15 years ago. His heart health became a priority and lifestyle changes ensued. As the chief cook and head nutritionist, my job was to ensure he had heart healthy meals which meant eating out less often, making better food choices, eating more fruits and vegetables, and adapting cooking methods and flavor enhancers to support a strict low sodium diet.
The American Heart Association works diligently to help kids, families and communities live heart-healthy lives. Use their Healthy Living information to help you get active and stay active, for life. You can start by taking the pledge to reduce the amount of sodium that you eat – simply click on the image above to go to the AHA.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) emphasize that “strong men put their heart health first“. While Americans of all backgrounds can be at risk for heart disease, African American men, especially those who live in the southeast region of the United States, are at the highest risk for heart disease.
Million Hearts® is challenging men to start one new, heart-healthy behavior. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, and African American men are disproportionately affected more by heart disease than other races or ethnicities.
Simple changes can make a big difference! Here are some ideas for getting started:
♥ Talk to your doctor about ways to control high blood pressure.
♥ Add physical activity to your daily routine.
♥ Make heathy eating swaps, such as using fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.
♥ Quit smoking.
While most to of us are educated to recognize the symptoms of a heart attack in men – sudden extreme pain in the chest and left arm – increasing attention is being given to how symptoms in women are drastically different. For many women, the symptoms of a heart attack are far less dramatic and much easier to attribute to stress or minor illnesses. That is why it is essential to know what to look for and act immediately if you or a loved one experience these symptoms.
One small step by you, is one giant step for those you love!
Save the Date:
The 35th annual Orange County Heart Ball is on Friday, June 10th at The Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel, and will be chaired by Black, Starr & Frost’s Alfredo Molina and Renee Dee. The event brings together influential leaders from the corporate, philanthropic and medical communities to raise funds and promote the lifesaving work of the American Heart Association. The evening’s black-tie festivities will include dinner, entertainment, dancing and an exciting auction.
More food for thought: