Many of you are aware that February is heart health month, and we want to share resources with you that may help improve your clients’ heart health. The stats are scary: One in every four deaths in the U.S. are attributed to heart disease, making it the leading cause of death in the U.S. among both men and women, according to the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. And among women, cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death, according to the American Heart Association.
The good news is that heart disease can be prevented by eating healthy, moving more, managing health conditions, and putting down the salt shaker. Here are a few resources from dietitians that you may wish to share with your own clients who are concerned about heart health.
Dietitian-Approved, Heart-Healthy Resources and Recipes
Emily Schmidt, RDN at Mayo Clinic Health System, writes about various foods to decrease (saturated fat, salt) and increase (soluble fiber, plant-based foods) in her piece, “What does it mean to ‘eat healthy for your heart?’”
Sharon Palmer, the Plant-Powered Dietitian, shares heart-healthy plant-based recipes on her site. You may also wish to read and recommend her post, “Vegetarian and Mediterranean Diets Are Both Heart Healthy.”
Research demonstrates that following the DASH diet is one of the best means for lowering one’s blood pressure. Share this Today’s Dietitian clip with your clients: “The Celebrated Dash Diet,” or point them to dietitian Rosanne Rust’s manual, “DASH Diet for Dummies.”
Brigitte Zeitlin, a registered dietitian and owner of BZ Nutrition, discusses the benefits of the Mediterranean Diet in, “6 unexpected benefits of the Mediterranean diet,” which includes improved heart health when eating healthy fats.
Encourage Cholesterol Testing and Biometric Screenings
Encourage your clients to take action when it comes to their heart health! Knowing their lab values provides a sense of empowerment and a baseline sense for one’s heart health – and whether changes to nutrition, movement, etc. are necessary. Your clients' local supermarket or employer may offer free or low-cost screenings. For example, Kroger Health, Kroger's healthcare division of pharmacies and clinics, is offering free cholesterol screenings at its various store locations (Smith's, Ralph's, Fry's, QFC, Fred Meyer and King Soopers) this month. Encourage your clients to have their levels tested so as to learn whether they may be at risk of heart disease.
Similarly, Hy-Vee dietitians are offering free biometric screenings this month at 150 of its stores. A biometric screening assesses certain health values that can help in identifying potential risk factors for heart disease or hypertension. Your clients may also check in with their human resources department to learn of various health benefits available to them.
We applaud the work that you do to help counsel your clients when it comes to improving heart health. What heart-health resources do you share with your clients?
Note: The resources mentioned above serve only to give you general information and a general sense of understanding. Links from Healthy Bytes to third-party sites do not constitute an endorsement by Healthy Bytes of the parties or their products and services.