February is American Heart Month. Heart disease causes more than 600,000 deaths in the United States every year, with more than 700,000 heart attacks as well. High blood pressure, particularly in African-American men, is a major cause for heart disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, two out of every five African-Americans have high blood pressure, making them three times more likely to die from heart disease than if they had normal blood pressure. Nutrition plays a vital role in disease prevention and keeps risk factors at bay. The American Heart Association recommends a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes with eight or more servings a day for optimum health. Try adding more soluble fiber from oats, beans, and barley to help reduce your cholesterol or more fruits and vegetables to cut your saturated fat intake.
Tip of the Day
Ask for whole grains! Request 100% whole-wheat breads, rolls, and pasta when ordering sandwiches, burgers, or main dishes away from home. Aim to make half your grains whole grains.