Healthy Heart Month Tips for the Entire Family from Providence
January 27, 2011
PORTLAND, Ore. - February is American Heart Month. It's the perfect time to commit to leading a healthier lifestyle. Providence Heart and Vascular Institute experts are available for interviews on the following topics.
LEARN TO LIVE HEALTHY WITH “THE FLEX DIET”
Providence Heart and Vascular Institute physician James Beckerman, M.D. wanted to find a way to encourage people to make lifestyle changes to help lose weight and live healthier lives. As a cardiologist, he sees firsthand what happens when people make poor choices involving their health. “The Flex Diet” made its debut in late December and is on sale now in bookstores nationwide and on Amazon.com.
FOR A HEALTHY HEART, FLAVOR YOUR FOOD WITH HERBS
People often think food without the flavor of salt is bland. However, by replacing herbs and spices for salt in your cooking, you may be able to significantly reduce your sodium intake and lower blood pressure. When cooking, use three parts fresh herb to one part dried herb and discover the variety of flavors offered through spice! Providence experts can talk about the benefits of reduced sodium intake and how much salt should be included in your daily diet.
ASSESS YOUR HEART ATTACK RISK
Are you at risk for a heart attack? Providence Heart and Vascular Institute is offering a free online tool to help you assess your risk. This tool is designed to estimate risk in adults age 20 and older who do not have heart disease or diabetes. You must know your blood pressure and cholesterol, or lipid, levels (e.g., HDL and total cholesterol) to receive an accurate assessment.
Providence experts can discuss this tool and other methods used to determine heart attack risk, plus offer tips on what people can do to reduce their risk.
QUIT SMOKING TO IMPROVE CHOLESTEROL TEST SCORES
A new study suggests that individuals may be able to significantly improve their heart health and raise the level of good cholesterol in their body when they stop smoking. The results showed that participants who were able to remain smoke-free for the duration of the study experienced an average 5 percent increase in good cholesterol, or HDL, levels. HDL has been shown to help remove excess bad cholesterol, or LDL, from arteries. Providence experts can offer additional tips on how to make heart-smart decisions.
HANDY GUIDE TO HEART HEALTHY FACTS AND FOOD
The Northwest Guide to Heart-Healthy Living 2011 is now available in hundreds of Oregon and Southwest Washington locations including major grocery stores and athletic centers. The annual Providence Heart and Vascular Institute guide explains the risk factors that lead to cardiovascular disease, offers motivational tips on exercising and eating well, and includes healthy recipes. Providence experts can explain how following the advice and lifestyle changes outlined in the guide can cut a person's risk of developing heart disease by more than 50 percent.