The American Heart Association celebrates National Nutrition Month in March and reminds New Jerseyans to Eat Smart all year.
Saddle Brook, February 14, 2018– As the excitement of the New Year fades, so do our healthy resolutions. That’s why National Nutrition Month in March is so important. The American Heart Association encourages New Jerseyans to reboot their healthy lifestyle commitments by making smart food choices this month and throughout the year.
According to the American Heart Association, only about 1.5% of U.S. adults have an ideal healthy diet score. An ideal healthy diet includes lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, fish and skinless poultry. It also means avoiding foods high in added sugars, sodium, saturated fats, and fatty and processed meats.
“Eating a heart-healthy diet is the first step toward preventing diseases, such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, heart disease and stroke,” said Mark Glickman, Board Member, The American Heart Association | The American Stroke Association. “National Nutrition Month is a great time to learn more about healthy eating habits and to start making small changes to your diet.”
With nearly half of U.S. adults diagnosed with high blood pressure and about 1 in 3 U.S. adults with high levels of HDL (“bad”) cholesterol, it’s important to consider lifestyle changes, such as healthy diet, to reduce these risk factors. High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two major controllable risk factors for heart disease and stroke, the nation’s No. 1 and No. 5 killers.
“Healthy eating starts with what you buy at the grocery store,” continued Glickman. “It’s important to learn how to read food labels and look for sneaky ingredients, such as added sugars, sodium and saturated fats.”
The American Heart Association offers these tips for making small, manageable changes to your diet:
Choose mindfully. Even with healthier foods, ingredients and nutrient contents can vary significantly. Learn to read food labels and choose foods that are low in added sugars, sodium and saturated fats.
Watch your calories. To maintain a healthy weight, you should only consume as many calories as you burn with physical activity. If you want to lose weight, take in fewer calories or burn more calories.
Eat reasonable portions. Aim to fill most of your plate with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Remember when eating out, portions are usually much larger than is recommended.
Don’t dismiss entire food groups. Eating a variety of foods ensures you are getting all the nutrients your body needs.
Cook and eat at home. You have more control over the ingredients, preparation methods and portions sizes when you cook at home. Find heart-healthy recipes the whole family will love at www.heart.org/recipes.
New Jerseyans can celebrate National Nutrition Month this March with the American Heart Association’s Healthy For Good movement which offers mindful eating tips, tools and information to help you stay prepared and motivated all year. To learn more, visit www.heart.org/healthyforgood.
About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is devoted to saving people from heart disease and stroke – the two leading causes of death in the world. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat these diseases. The Dallas-based association is the nation’s oldest and largest voluntary organization dedicated to fighting heart disease and stroke. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-800-AHA-USA1, visit heart.org or call any of our offices around the country. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
About the American Stroke Association
The American Stroke Association is devoted to saving people from stroke – the No. 2 cause of death in the world and a leading cause of serious disability. We team with millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, fight for stronger public health policies, and provide lifesaving tools and information to prevent and treat stroke. The Dallas-based association officially launched in 1998 as a division of the American Heart Association. To learn more or to get involved, call 1-888-4STROKE or visit StrokeAssociation.org. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association receives funding mostly from individuals. Foundations and corporations donate as well, and fund specific programs and events. Strict policies are enforced to prevent these relationships from influencing the Association's science content. Financial information for the American Heart Association, including a list of contributions from pharmaceutical companies and device manufacturers, is available at http://www.heart.org/corporatefunding.