February is a heart-filled month. Along with Valentine’s Day, there is American Heart
Month, Women’s Heart Health Day and National Wear Red Day on Feb. 6. Along with a few days hiking and wine tasting in Napa, I remembered to wear my red on Feb 6th!
These are really important awareness campaigns because heart disease kills an estimated 630,000 Americans each year, and many Americans believe that heart disease mostly affects men, but the reality is heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. Did you know heart disease and stroke kill 1 in 3 women, but it’s 80% preventable?
The goal of American Heart Month is to increase awareness about the many ways to prevent heart disease. While National Wear Red Day brings attention to the fact that this is a woman’s disease too, and encourages Americans to live a heart-healthy life by exercising at least 30 minutes each day and eating a diet that is rich in fruits and vegetables and low in sodium, trans fat and saturated fat. Although there is some controversy regarding the role of saturated fat in our diet and it’s effects on our health, the guidelines continue to support choosing mostly vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and avocado as your healthy fat choices and continuing to limit saturated fat from whole-fat dairy, butter, animal fats, desserts and processed foods. It doesn’t mean you can’t have any saturated fat, but choose infrequently and in small portions while getting nutrient rich nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and avocado as your primary fat choices.
Click here for more information about Heart Month or click here for helpful information about heart disease for you or a loved one:
If you would like some healthy tips for celebrating Valentine’s Day or a recipe & ideas for your child’s classroom party, click here for a recent article I wrote for Bay Area Parent Magazine.
I hope you enjoy a Healthy, Happy Valentine’s Day!