The Beat Goes On…And How To Keep It That Way
The American Heart Association reported that the death rate from coronary heart disease declined 34.3% from 1995 to 2005. However, coronary heart disease is still the leading cause of death for men and women in America today causing over 445,000 deaths in 2005 alone. To help your heart beat go on, include physical activity and follow a healthy diet that is low in fat, cholesterol and salt. Break through the nutrition myths to make healthier choices to decrease your risk of heart disease.
Myth #1: Skipping meals can help me lose weight.
Carrying additional weight around can lead to high blood pressure, high cholesterol and/or diabetes that can increase your risk for heart disease. Reaching and maintaining a healthy weight is a way to help reduce your risk of these conditions, but instead of skipping meals, take a healthy approach. Skipping meals causes your body to go in to a starvation mode and slows down your metabolism. In addition, you could overeat at your next meal. Try including three meals or six smaller meals during the day. Include a healthy breakfast such as toasted 100% whole wheat bread with Meijer Natural peanut butter, banana slices and a glass of Tropicana Orange Juice with Calcium. Or try whole grain cereal with Silk Light Plain Soymilk and sliced strawberries.
Myth #2: It is too time consuming to eat healthy.
Healthy meals can be quick and easy! After a long day, enjoy Contessa Chicken Stir Fry served over Meijer brown rice with a glass of low-fat milk and a sliced pear. Or pour Barilla Garden Vegetable pasta sauce over Barilla Plus pasta and serve with a green salad and Mott’s applesauce for dessert. Valley Fresh Chicken White Chunk is perfect to keep in the pantry for busy nights for a quick dinner – toss it in casseroles, tacos or soups. For other quick and easy meals (based on sale items), visit our weekly nutritious menu at www.meijerhealthyliving.com.
Myth #3: I will experience symptoms of high blood pressure and high cholesterol. High blood pressure and high cholesterol do not always show themselves with symptoms. Without testing, you may not even know you have these conditions. High blood pressure and high cholesterol can damage your heart and blood vessels, so scheduling regular health screenings with your doctor or Meijer pharmacist to know your numbers is important.
Myth #4: Frozen produce is not as healthy as fresh.
Frozen fruits and vegetables without added salt, sugar or sauce can be just as healthy as fresh fruits and vegetables. The NuVal system even shows this on our products. The fresh broccoli scores a 100 on the NuVal system and Meijer frozen broccoli (without any added salt or sodium) also scores a 100. When it comes to fruits and vegetables, remember that the 5 forms “count”: fresh, frozen, canned, 100% juice and dried. For an easy side, microwave Freshlike Frozen Cut Green Beans or have a glass of V8 100% vegetable juice – low sodium or Mott’s 100% Apple Juice. Or toss Dei Fratelli Petite Diced Tomatoes in soup.
Myth #5: I should avoid all fat.
Fat is necessary to include in the diet, but limit the amount you consume. You don’t want to cut it out completely. Instead, focus on decreasing your intake of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol and have more foods with the unsaturated fats, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. The unsaturated fats, when used in place of the other fats, can decrease your risk of heart disease by lowering your total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels in your blood. Omega-3’s, a type of polyunsaturated fat, may help your heart as they may decrease your risk for coronary artery disease. Include unsaturated fats in your diet by having fatty, cold-water fish (salmon, mackerel, herring) for meals, or Planter’s Heart Healthy Light Salt Mix for a quick snack. These items still contain calories, so continue to have them in moderation.
Myth #6: Only water will keep me hydrated.
You can stay hydrated with fluids from other beverages, including nutrient-rich low-fat milk, tea or 100% juice. You can also get fluids from the foods you eat such as fruit and soup. Getting enough fluids helps your body to run smoothly and moderates your body temperature when you work out. Water is the best way to stay hydrated and for some people the lack of flavor of water decreases their interest in drinking enough during the day. Try Crystal Light On The Go packets – you’ll be surprised at how much water you drink with the added flavor!
Myth #7: Salt is the best way to season food.
Consuming a lot of salt on a regular basis can lead to high blood pressure which can increase your risk for heart disease. It is recommended to consume less than 2,300mg of sodium each day. While salt helps to add flavor to food, it is not the only way to season your meals and snacks. Try herbs, spices and seasonings, such as McCormick spices and Mrs. Dash seasonings. These salt-free alternatives are so delicious and flavorful that you won’t miss your salt shaker. For an easy idea: pour a little Meijer olive oil, garlic and McCormick dried rosemary on some freshly washed asparagus and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes, until desired tenderness. Enjoy!
Myth #8: When trying to lose weight, you should avoid all desserts.
Desserts do not have to be avoided when trying to lose weight or eat healthier. Remember to have them on occasion and keep moderation in mind. Dove Dark Chocolate Mini’s are a great treat! They are perfectly sized and help you to meet your sweet tooth craving.
Take Care of Yourself (Your Heart Will Thank You)
· Reduce stress. Take time during the day to relax and unwind to reduce your stress.
· Get enough sleep.
· Include physical activity. Exercise can also help you to reduce your stress. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.
· Schedule regular appointments. Visit your doctor and dentist on a regular basis for check-ups. Take care of your body, teeth and gums in between visits. Remember to brush, floss and use Meijer Mouthwash.
· Talk to your doctor about taking aspirin. Aspirin may reduce your risk of a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association mentions that aspirin may be beneficial for people who have had a heart attack, “little strokes” or unstable chest pain or who are at an increased risk for having one of these conditions. Talk to your doctor about taking Meijer Adult Low Strength Aspirin. The risks and benefits of taking aspirin can vary for each individual.
Sun, February 7, 2010
by Janine Faber