What Keeps Your Heart Healthy? Hint: Salt and Fat Are Not the Enemy!
It seems that everywhere you look or listen, everyone has a different take on how to keep your heart healthy. This is good in a way, as heart disease is the cause of one out of every four deaths in the Unites States every year. It’s not so great, though, in that some of the information given out isn’t correct, or worse, it’s not presented fully, so leads to assumptions that just aren’t true! Read on to find out the true ways to keep your heart healthy and strong.
Salt Is Not the Enemy!
Salt is essential for our lives. We literally cannot live without it. The problem is that many people consume way too much salt, and definitely not the good kind! Eating fresh foods can cut way down on your salt consumption, and you can replace the table salt with a much healthier alternative, such as Ava Jane’s Kitchen’s sea salt, which has oodles of minerals and nutrients that can also help the body.
The sodium levels in pre-packaged and processed foods is off the charts, as salt is used in them as a flavor enhancer and preservative. Eating these foods can directly lead to high blood pressure and increase your risk of heart disease. However, fresh foods have some naturally occurring salt, but in very small quantities. Going the good food route, you can salt to taste and seriously reduce your risk of heart disease!
Fat Is Not the Enemy Either!
This is a true statement, with some caveats. Obviously, as with salt, moderation is the key, but there are many types of fats, some healthy, some not. The category of fats which adds to your risk of developing heart disease is calls trans fat. This type of fat directly feeds your LDL cholesterol levels and lowers your HDL cholesterol levels. LDL is what clogs your arteries, and HDL helps keep bad cholesterol out of the blood stream. Processed foods such as margarines, fried fast food and packaged bread products are good ways to get a lot of LDL, so it is best to cut them out as much as possible. Eat the good fats, such as those in Ava Jane’s Kitchen avocado oil, fresh cheeses, etc.
Keep Those Choppers Clean
Your dental health is a very good indication of your health overall. Keeping your mouth (which is an area with a lot of bacteria) and teeth clean can help reduce your risk of heart disease. If you develop gum disease from poor dental hygiene, your blood vessels and heart can become inflamed from the elevation of C-reactive protein.
We hear this a lot, but it’s the absolute truth. If you aren’t sleeping enough, the older you get, the worse your chances of having a stroke or heart attack are. Some studies show that your risk is double that of people who get six to eight hours of sleep a night. That’s a huge risk! And it’s not just your heart that suffers, but a whole range of problems crop up when you aren’t sleeping correctly. So make the lifestyle changes you need, such as not watching a screen an hour before bed so your mind can drift off nicely.
This has been said over and over … and it’s true. But if you are a pretty sedentary person, exercise doesn’t have to be a drastic lifestyle change! Begin slowly and take a walk around the block, or go up and down a few flights of stairs, but do it every day. Go hiking, ride a bike, even do some jumping jacks. Anything helps and over time, you will see it get easier and easier. If you are already in pretty good shape, step up your cardio game a little bit. Body building doesn’t do a whole lot for the heart, as it’s anaerobic, so make sure you have some aerobic exercise in your routine!
Your heart is quite literally one of the most important things you have, so take care of it!