How to keep your heart healthy
PENSACOLA, Fla. (WEAR) —
More than 2,000 Americans die every day due to cardiovascular diseases, according to the American Heart Association. February is American Heart Month.
Your everyday life choices affect your heart, especially when it comes to your diet.
Registered dietitian Jessica Blessing said too much sugar will stress you out.
"It really puts stress on your body because it creates inflammation and it's a lot for your body to process out," said Blessing.
Blessing told WEAR's Lauren Wolfe that Stevia is a better alternative, and adding healthy fats like avocados or coconut milk to your meal plan will help your body.
"It's really important to have healthy fats to balance your blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and fats actually digest slower; so they keep you fuller a little bit longer and they give you that sustained energy throughout the day," said Blessing.
It's also the way you move throughout the day that will make a big difference in your heart's health.
Cardiac rehab exercise specialist Harrison Diaz recommends 30 minutes of a 'brisk' walk a day.
"A brisk walk is where you build a slight sweat. You're able to hold a conversation no problem, but you are sweating a little bit," said Harrison.
Harrison told WEAR that it can be as simple as walking to the store.
"You don't have to go on a quote on quote walk, you can just go to the mall and go shopping, you can go window shopping. You can park a little further away from the store and walk in. You don't have to do it in a structured form and make sure you get walking," said Harrison.
If you have a family history of heart conditions, folks should contact your doctor to find out what you can do to help yourself and your loved ones.
Baptist Health Care hosts free seminars all month called Love your Heart.
Click here for more details.