Monday, January 12, 2009

Great Eating And Lifestyle Tips For Heart Health Month

(StatePoint) From Valentine's Day to Heart Health Month, February is all about matters of the heart. It's a time to tell loved ones they matter. And what better way than to help you and your sweetheart get healthier than through smart lifestyle choices?

Heart and cardiovascular disease continue to be the number one killer in the U.S., according to medical statistics. With this in mind, every year since 1963 Congress and the President have proclaimed February "American Heart Month." It's a great time to get the whole family started on a healthier path.

"As a doctor and a food executive, I've seen many, many people unnecessarily suffering from heart ailments," says Dr. Peter Praeger, a practicing heart surgeon and founder of Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods. "We all know that bad eating and lifestyle habits are direct contributors to heart disease, so why not make a change in your family's lives simply by making some better choices?"

Here are some basic heart health tips from Dr. Praeger that you and your loved ones can follow:

* The key to being healthy is moderation and exercise. Keep this in mind when setting healthy living goals.

* Get your blood pressure and cholesterol screened starting at the age of 14.

* Make simple changes in your lifestyle to become more active, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator.

* Walking two miles per day can help keep your heart healthy.

* Focus on eating sensibly most of the time, but don't deprive yourself of all the foods you enjoy.

* Make sure your grocery list includes foods that are all-natural and preservative-free, such as Dr. Praeger's Sensible Foods products.

* Eat more fiber. Eating fiber from fruits, vegetables, and grains may help lower your chances of getting heart disease.

* Try to avoid foods high in trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium.

* When purchasing vegetables, keep in mind that the more colorful they are, the more heart-protective antioxidants they typically contain.

For ideas for heart healthy foods, visit

"The key to heart health and general health is to make healthful eating and lifestyle choices, no matter how old you are," stresses Dr. Praeger.

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