Are Valentine’s Day and National Heart Month Related?
February 17, 2014 | Peggy Martin
I wonder if it is coincidence that Valentine’s Day, National Heart Month, and National Wear Red Day are all in February. Probably not, but it would be great if the hype around Valentine’s Day reminded us to eat heart healthy. What is a better way to show your love than preparing healthy, delicious food for your family and friends? Here are a few facts:
- Heart disease is still the leading cause of death in the US even though we tend to hear more about cancer.
- We can’t change some of the risks factors for heart disease such a family history, gender, and age. However, many of the risk factors for heart disease are related to diet and physical activity which we can influence, they include: cholesterol level, high blood pressure, diabetes, overweight, smoking and lack of physical activity.
The American Heart Association has a list of Tips for Heart-Healthy Grocery Shopping that provides a good start for anyone one who wants to improve the quality of their diet. Their list highlights the types of fats and oils to choose and avoid as well as how to avoid excess sodium in the diet.
Perhaps you have already made changes in your diet. If you would like to check out your knowledge about sodium, fats and nutrition take their three nutrition quizzes:
Fats and Sodium Explorer- What are your daily calorie needs? Recommended range for total fats, limits for the “bad” fats: saturated and trans fats.
Test Your Sodium Smarts-Test your sodium smarts by answering 10 questions about which food products are higher in sodium.
Test Your Fats IQ– Do you know your fats by heart? Test just how knowledgeable you are.