Stroke Connection - Fall 2012 - (Page 17)
Of the 795,000 strokes that occur each year, about 185,000 – nearly 25% – are recurrent strokes.
something. If you aren’t practicing healthy behaviors, then you are practicing unhealthy ones. And if practice makes perfect, then you have to ask yourself, “What will I achieve when I perfect those unhealthy behaviors?” For roughly three-quarters of Americans the answer is “cardiovascular disease and stroke.”
Know Your Health Factors
Know your goals and track your progress for important health factors in a secure, online tool. You and your healthcare team can work together via Heart360 to share and track your progress in reaching your goals. You can also share records with a loved one or caregiver if you choose. In addition to tracking, you can also run reports about your blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, physical activity and more.
A Heart-Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one of your best resources for reducing your risk of another stroke. Let’s face it, you can’t build a healthy body out of cheeseburgers and french fries. A heart-healthy diet comprises foods low in saturated and trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and added sugars, and foods high in whole grain fiber, lean protein, and a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. This diet improves your chances for feeling good and staying healthy – for life! Poor eating habits mean more risk factors for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity. If you frequently skip veggies, fruit, low-fat dairy, fiber-rich whole grains, and lean meats including fish, your body is missing the basic building blocks for a healthy life. Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to make new cells and create the energy we need to thrive and avoid diseases.
No Accident Healthy eating requires planning. Before you start changing your diet, keep a handwritten food journal or use an Internet- or app-based food tracker for a few days. This will help you see where you need to improve your choices. A good place to start is buying fewer processed food products and more produce. An easy rule of thumb is to eat a wide variety of nutritious foods daily from each of the basic food groups.
Eat vegetables and fruits. They are high
My Life Check: heart.org/mylifecheck
Understand the health factors most important for you and receive action plans for improving those areas.
Are you at risk?
My Diabetes Health Assessment: heart.org/mdha High Blood Pressure Risk Calculator: heart.org/hbprisk
Tools & Resource to Help You Practice Healthy Behaviors
Fats & Sodium Explorer: heart.org/fatsandsodium explorer/explorer.html Grocery List Builder: checkmark.heart.org/ Start Walking Now: startwalkingnow.org/
Quizzes are a good way to educate yourself and your loved ones on all these topics:
in vitamins, minerals and fiber — and they’re low in calories. Eating a variety of deeply colored fruits and vegetables can help you control your weight and your blood pressure, which reduces your stroke risk. Substitute an apple, orange or banana for cookies, chips or processed snack food.
Eat unrefined fiber-rich whole-grain foods. A diet rich in fiber can help promote
weight loss because it keeps you feeling fuller longer so you eat less. It can also help lower your blood cholesterol – another risk
S T R O K E C O N N E C T I O N FALL 2012
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