Heart Healthier Holidays:A guide for a heart-healthy holiday season | Community Spirit

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Heart Healthier Holidays:A guide for a heart-healthy holiday season
Heart Healthier Holidays:A guide for a heart-healthy holiday season

Tis the season for big family gatherings! Between holiday parties, late night feasts and traveling, healthy habits can easily go right out the window.  The American Heart Association-Go Red For Women movement encourages everyone to enjoy traditional meals in moderation during this holiday season. Extra calories can quickly convert into additional pounds, which can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Give your family the gift of a healthy heart by using the following tips to help make smarter choices over the holidays.

Make the holidays healthy…

·         Take time to enjoy the holiday season with family and friends.  Gather around the fire to enjoy low fat hot chocolate and share favorite holiday memories.

·         Offer vegetables in addition to traditional side dishes such as stuffing, potato salad or macaroni and cheese at your holiday meals.

·         Turn off the television and go walking or bike riding with the kids.  

Be selective…

·         To help keep portion sizes small, put your snacks on a small plate instead of a large one and limit your trips to the buffet.

·         Survey the entire buffet before you fill your plate. This will help you select only the foods that you want.

·         Wait 20 minutes before getting another plate of food from the buffet.  You’ll often find that you’re no longer hungry.

Be health-conscious…

·         Set out bite-sized, healthy snacks such as fat-free popcorn, raisins or almonds in small containers.  That way your guests won’t be tempted to keep reaching for the snacks – they’ll have to pick up the container, or use a small spoon, to pour a few into their hand. 

·         Present food in various locations to encourage activities and mingling as well as eating.

·         Put desserts in an out-of-the-way location to reduce the temptation to overindulge.

 

Chances are heart disease has in some way, touched most of the residents of the First Coast. Help the American Heart Association-Go Red For Women movement save a woman’s life today. Make It Your Mission to fight heart disease in women and stop the No.1 killer. The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women asks you to bring your network into our network. Spread the word, EDUCATE! Identify your cardiovascular risk (smoking diabetes, etc), and do something about it….that is..seek treatment, maintain a heart healthy lifestyle.

In 2010, the First Coast lost more than 3,300 residents to heart disease and stroke; and more than 50% of them were women. 

 

2010 Florida Cardiovascular Disease and Cerebrovascular (Stroke) Mortality Statistics:

  • Eighty-five (85)  Baker County residents died as a result of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (stroke diseases
  • Four hundred and sixty-five (465)  Clay County residents  died as a result of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (stroke diseases
  • Two thousand two hundred and eighty-seven (2,287)  Duval County residents died as a result of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (stroke diseases
  • Two hundred and two (202)  Nassau County residents died as a result of   cardiovascular and cerebrovascular (stroke diseases
  • Four hundred and fifty-two (452) St. Johns County residents died as a result of cardiovascular disease

Data Source: Florida Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics

 

For more information about staying heart healthy over the holidays and into the New Year, visit your American Heart Association at www.heart.org or call (800) AHA-USA1. For more information about the Go Red For Women movement in Jacksonville, call Lorie Strange-Paylor at 904-256-5723 or by email at Lorie.Strangepaylor@heart.org .

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