5 Heart Healthy Resolutions for a New Year
We are 2 months into the New Year, and this is when the majority of people start to fail on their resolutions. If you made a New Year’s resolution, don’t let it go! Lose weight. Eat better. Quit smoking. Move more. Whatever it was, re-energize yourself to restart. Tell someone else about your resolution for a healthier you and have them help you restart.
1. Drink more water
You’ve heard it time and again, but the fact remains: Drinking the right amount water is a key ingredient in staying healthy. If you’re drinking more water, you’ll have less room for sugary sodas – which is a good thing. Some people drink more than half of their calories, so replace it with calorie-free water!
2. Go green
Make 2014 the year of the kale chip – not the tortilla chip. By keeping your cabinets stocked with heart healthy fruits and vegetables you are in better shape to stick to your resolution. And if fresh doesn’t work with your schedule or habits, remember you can get frozen or canned. Just be sure to rinse canned fruits and vegetables, as they may contain added salts and sugars.
3. Eat seasonally
Good for your budget and waistline, eating seasonally means you are getting food at it’s peak performance and flavor level. Additionally, you’ll be supporting your local community and farmers, which is always a great resolution as well
4. Cut out processed food
Just do it. Decide that 2014 is going to be the year you say no to aspartame, high fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil. In addition to chemicals your body doesn’t need or want, processed foods are full of added salt. Higher salt intake puts you at risk for high blood pressure. In fact, 75 percent of the salt in the average American diet comes from salt added to processed food and restaurant food, according to the American Heart Association. So take control and cut out salt where you can.
5. Eat more fiber
Crucial to heart health and reducing the risk of heart disease, fiber is easy to add to your diet. Whole grains are filled with fiber, which makes digestion easier and helps you feel fuller when you’re done eating – both key factors in weight management.
Whatever you decide to do to improve your health, don’t wait! Start today.
-Tania M. LeBaron, MD
Cadillac Family Physicians
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