A local registered dietitian has completed education and training to specialize in a wide variety of fields, including sport nutrition, gerontological nutrition, pediatric nutrition and renal nutrition. A local Registered Dietitian or she may work in private practice, in a nursing home, school, hospital or food service facility.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in North America. Heart disease refers to many conditions that affect the heart, including coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, heart attack, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) and more.
Lifestyle Habits & Heart Disease
While there are some heart disease risk factors you can’t control, there are some you can, including diet and lifestyle. Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through your lifestyle habits. Eating a well-balanced diet can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help you lose weight. A diet low in saturated fat and high in fibre and plant food can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by:
• Improving your cholesterol and blood pressure levels
• Controlling your blood sugar
• Helping you maintain a healthy body weight
If you have congestive heart failure, fluid retention is one of the biggest issues you face. You should aim to eat less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium daily - the average North American diet has about four to five thousand milligrams. Just as a diabetic would test their blood sugars every day to see how much insulin they need to take, a person with heart failure should be doing a daily weight check to monitor for fluid retention. Weigh yourself before breakfast and consult with your healthcare provider if you gain five pounds in a week or four pounds in two or three days.
Heart-Healthy Diet Tips
Here are some ways to ensure you’re eating a heart-healthy diet:
• Aim for 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.
• Avoid highly-processed foods such as fast food, deli meats and hot dogs. During processing vitamins, fibre and minerals are often removed while sugar or salt is added.
• Incorporate more whole grain foods into your diet, such as brown rice, quinoa and whole grain bread. They’re rich in fibre, B vitamins and protein.
• Look for foods that contain unsaturated fat rather than saturated fat. Lower your trans fatty acid intake by avoiding foods with hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils, shortening and margarine.
• Make sure you’re getting enough protein to maintain heathy bones and muscles. Look for beans, fish, tofu and lean meat.
• Stop drinking empty calories, which are found in fruit juices, energy drinks and soft drinks. They offer no nutritional value and can lead to weight gain. Choose water more often.
There are so many steps you can take towards a healthier heart, and diet is a big one. While it may seem daunting to change your eating habits, your heart will thank you!
Talk to your family physician if you'd like more information on nutrition contact your local registered dietician.
Visit HealthChoicesFirst.com for more videos and resources on family health.
Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider
Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through your lifestyle habits.
A diet low in saturated fat and high in fibre and plant food can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by improving your cholesterol and blood pressure levels, controlling your blood sugar and helping you maintain a healthy body weight.
Aim for 7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre.
ongestive heart failure, fluid retention is one of the biggest issues you face. You should aim to eat less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium daily.
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance to any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes.
Parental Influence: Parents and caregivers have a significant impact on children's eating behaviors. Children learn by observing their parents' eating habits and preferences. Parents who provide a positive food environment, model healthy eating behaviors, and offer nutritious food choices tend to have children with healthier eating patterns.
Food Availability and Accessibility: The availability and accessibility of different types of food can influence children's eating behaviors. When healthy food options are readily available at home, school, and other environments, children are more likely to develop healthier eating habits.
Food Preferences and Taste Development: Children have innate food preferences, and their taste preferences can be influenced by early experiences with different flavors and textures. Exposure to a variety of nutritious foods during infancy and early childhood can help shape children's preferences for healthy options.
Food Advertising and Marketing: The food industry heavily influences children's food choices through advertising and marketing strategies. Children are often exposed to persuasive advertisements promoting unhealthy, high-calorie foods. Limiting children's exposure to such marketing and promoting healthier food options can positively impact their eating behaviors.
Mealtime Environment: The atmosphere during mealtimes can affect children's eating behaviors. Creating a pleasant, low-stress environment with regular family meals can encourage healthy eating habits. Family meals also provide opportunities for children to observe and learn from their parents' eating behaviors.
Peer Influence: As children grow older, their peers can influence their eating behaviors. Social pressure to conform to certain food choices or eating patterns may impact their dietary decisions. Promoting a positive peer environment that supports healthy eating can mitigate negative influences.
Socioeconomic Factors: Socioeconomic status can play a role in children's eating behaviors. Access to affordable, nutritious food options and resources for nutrition education can vary among different socioeconomic groups, impacting the quality of children's diets.
Understanding these factors can guide efforts to improve children's dietary patterns and health status. Promoting healthy eating behaviors through education, creating supportive environments, and implementing policies that limit the marketing of unhealthy foods to children are essential steps towards combating the prevalence of overweight and obesity in North America. A local Registered Dietitian In treating patients a registered dietitian can also educate them on meal planning, lowering cholesterol, nutritional requirements for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes and anorexia and bulimia recovery. In regards to Arthritus a Registered Dietician can help with anti inflamitorty foods and celiac disease.
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