By: Celeste Davie
Women all over the nation are going red to support the fight against heart disease. February is National Heart Awareness Month. Since 2004, the American Heart Association's Go Red For Women movement has been educating millions of women on heart disease. More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer combined. Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S.
There are different forms of heart disease. The most common cause of heart disease is blockage of the coronary arteries, the blood vessels that supply blood to the heart itself. This is called coronary artery disease and it happens slowly over time. It's the major reason people have heart attacks. Unfortunately, this killer isn't easy to see and is often silent. Some symptoms are persistent chest pain, pressure, and other discomfort. This pain results when the heart is getting too little blood or oxygen. Other risk factors for heart disease are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, tobacco use, unhealthy diet, and physical inactivity.
African American women are at a greater risk for heart disease than any other ethnic group and African American women die from heart disease more often than all other Americans. Some of the factors that contribute to this disparity include higher rates of cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, overweight and obesity.
There are some things you can change in your diet to keep your heart healthy. Achieving a healthy body weight is the key to reducing your risk of heart disease. Also, reducing portion sizes is a crucial step toward losing or maintaining a healthy weight. And don’t forget that you are what you eat so eat healthier foods. Here are some more guidelines you should follow:
Select fat-free or low-fat dairy products.
Include fish, lean meat and poultry in your diet.
Choose heart-healthy fats over saturated fats and trans fats
Lower your sodium intake.
Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
Try to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
Eat more fresh produce, legumes, and whole grains.
Drink alcohol in moderation.
Add physical activities in your life.
Celeste Davie is a member of BGR! Los Angeles. She is a traveler, freelance writer, marathon runner, foodie, and photography enthusiast. Celeste is passionate about fitness and promoting healthy eating. For more info on living a healthy lifestyle, visit her blog at HYPERLINK "http://www.courirwoman.com" www.courirwoman.com or follow her on twitter @courirwoman.