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Did you know that some young hearts are already showing signs of disease? The good news is you can actually reverse your child's clogged arteries—and your own—by eating right and moving more.
February is National Heart Month, the perfect time to show your family that your heart is in the right place.
Make Friends with Fiber
You've probably heard that fiber is good for your body. Did you also know it helps reduce risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes? Veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans and nuts are packed with this heart-healthy nutrient, so dig in!
Quick Tip: To make sure your family is getting enough fiber, fill half your plates with veggies and fruits. Choose whole grains, like 100% whole wheat bread, oatmeal and brown rice. Try beans as an addition or substitute for meat at meals. And snack on a handful of unsalted nuts a few times each week.
Amp Up Activity
Physical activity does a world of good to help prevent chronic diseases, like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Bonus: exercising also boosts mood and helps us sleep better! Being active as a family is fun and helps you model healthy habits for your children. What are you waiting for? Time to get moving!
Quick Tip: Kids should be active for 60 minutes each day. Adults need at least 30 minutes of activity a day. Let us help you jumpstart your moves!
Swap Sugary Drinks
It’s simple: sugary drinks, like soda, sweet tea, and fruit drinks, aren’t good for you. They’re linked to higher rates of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Quick Tip: Swap sugary drinks for good old water. Too boring? Try our Wake Up Your Water ideas! Or serve low-fat (1%) or fat-free (skim) milk. Milk provides potassium, an important mineral for heart health.
Steer Clear of Trans Fats
Trans fats raise the bad cholesterol (LDL), while lowering the good kind (HDL). And that increases your risk of heart disease. In fact, trans fat is so bad for us, the FDA wants to ban it from foods.
Click here to learn how you can eliminate trans fat from your family’s diet.
Shake Down The Sodium
Too much salt in your diet can raise blood pressure and wreak havoc on your blood vessels. So put down the shaker and pick up the habit of looking for salt hidden in processed foods.
Quick Tip: Look for canned foods that are "no salt added" or "low sodium." Try herbs and spices instead of salt and sauces when cooking. Swap a salty snack (like chips) for a veggie or fruit several times each week.
Up Next: 10 Foods You Need for a Strong Immune System
Did you like 5 Steps for a Healthier Heart? Then you’ll want to check out our 5 Power Foods that Boost Your Immune System. These 5 Power Foods (and yummy serving tips) will help your family dodge cold and flu bullets all year!
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