February is American Heart Month, and The Moose Lake Star Gazette reported on Feb. 7 that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States in both men and women. The factors that increase the risk of developing heart disease include tobacco use of any kind, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, as well as lack of physical inactivity.
While exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle, if you are morbidly obese you may feel discouraged from exercising in order to get your heart healthy. Losing as little as 10 pounds can help you to get up and walking three times per week for 10 minutes each time.
Part of losing weight is learning how to make healthier-for-you versions of your favorite foods so that you do not feel deprived. It is not expensive to make healthier versions of your favorite foods.
Portion control is an important component in losing weight, and you will find that even though you are buying more fruits and vegetables and healthier ingredients that may cost more than ingredients you have used in the past, because of portion control you will use less of these ingredients.
Once you have begun your journey to a healthier lifestyle, the Joint National Committee on Treatment of High Blood Pressure recommends that you increase your physical activity level to 30 minutes of aerobic-type activities each day.
The American Heart Association studies have shown that for every hour of walking, life expectancy may increase by two hours.
Before beginning any diet or exercise program consult your primary care doctor. Your doctor may want to order a series of tests, including a fasting lipid panel, A1C, CBC, echocardiogram, stress test, EKG and Carotid Doppler. These tests are necessary for your doctor to determine what health problems you may have or be at risk for, and recommend the proper medications, diet and exercise plan for you.
If your doctor recommends you follow a carbohydrate, reduced-sodium and/or reduced –fat diet, this tomato soup recipe is a great example of a favorite recipe make-over.
For more frugal recipes, frugal healthier-for-you recipes and tips to save money follow Rachael Monaco, Buffalo Frugal Living Examiner. For more heart-healthy, low-carb, low-fat, reduced-sodium recipes and food news follow Rachael Monaco, Buffalo Cooking Examiner.
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