Heart Health

February 16, 2023

You probably already know that heart disease is a leading cause of death in the United States for both men and women. There are ways you can protect your heart and stay healthy.  Start by choosing to live a healthy lifestyle and understanding your risk of heart disease.

Diet & Lifestyle Recommendations From The American Heart Association


  • Find out how many calories you should be eating and drinking to maintain your weight.  The nutritional and caloric information on food labels is usually based on a 2,000-calorie diet per day.  Depending on your age, gender, and activity level you may need to adjust your calorie intake.
  • You can burn more calories by increasing the amount and intensity of your physical activity.
  • As far as how much physical activity you should get in one week – strive for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous physical activity.

If you find it difficult to schedule regular exercise, find ways to incorporate short bursts of activities throughout the day.  Such as parking further away in the parking lot of the building you need to enter or choose the stairs instead of the elevator.

Create healthy eating habits by eating an overall healthy dietary pattern that includes:

  • A wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your meals 
  • Eat whole grains and products made up mostly of whole grains
  • Select healthy sources of protein (legumes, nuts, fish, and seafood), low-fat or nonfat dairy and if you choose to eat meat and poultry ensure that it is lean and unprocessed 
  • Choose liquid non-tropical vegetable oils, like canola oil
  • Try to avoid processed foods
  • Minimize your intake of added sugars
  • Prepare your foods with little or no salt
  • Limit your alcohol consumption (preferably no alcohol)

Take the time to read the nutritional facts and ingredients on packaged food labels.  Select items that have less sodium, added sugars, and saturated fat.  Also, look for the heart-check- mark to identify foods that have been certified by the American Health Association.

Heart-Healthy Restaurant Menu Choices

When you are out at a restaurant it can be somewhat difficult to identify heart-healthy food options.  Here we will share some tips that may help you identify those healthier food options.

  • Beverages:  select water or unsweetened tea or coffee
  • Meat/Protein:  look for skinless chicken, fish, or other seafood and lean unprocessed meat
  • Sides: choose nuts, legumes (like black beans), whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, cooked vegetables, or salad
  • Soups:  look for broth-based soups with veggies.  Try to avoid cream-based soups.
  • How the food is prepared:  select the grilled, sautéed, roasted, steamed, baked, or poached options
  • Seasonings/dressings:  go with foods flavored with herbs, spices, and/or vinegar.  Choose dressings like balsamic vinaigrette and Italian (not creamy).  Guacamole and pico de gallo are also good options.
  • Desserts:  ask for fresh fruit or fruit-based desserts
  • Other good choices:  the A la carte section of the menu offers smaller portions

Even if you take small steps to live a healthy lifestyle that is still considered progress.  You will soon love the way you feel when you are fueling your body with healthy, nutritious foods.  Work in walks into your day until you reach your fitness goals.  Walks are not only good for your heart but they also help to boost your mood.  

Here at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch, we provide compassionate care.  We are here to help you achieve your health-related goals.