If you want to improve your overall health and protect your heart, simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can make a big impact. For these changes to stick, you should focus on adding more healthful foods, rather than just taking things out of your daily diet and routine. Here's 5 ways to make that happen!
(BPT) - Your heart is one of the most important organs in your body. It provides your body with the necessary oxygen and nutrients vital for daily survival. If you want to improve your overall health and protect your heart, simple changes in your lifestyle and diet can make a big impact.
For these changes to stick, focus on adding more healthful foods, rather than just taking things out of your daily diet and routine.
1. Add more seafood
Seafood is not only a good source of protein, but also a great source of omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. The Seafood Nutrition Partnership, citing the American Heart Association, advises eating at least two servings of seafood per week for enough omega-3s and nutrients to show improved health. In particular, fatty fish such as salmon, trout, pollock, barramundi, mackerel, herring, sardines and albacore tuna have the highest amounts of the heart-healthy nutrients that help prevent cardiovascular disease.
To incorporate more fish into your diet, start with the recipe for Easy Lemon Pepper Salmon from The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
When selecting fish, whether fresh, frozen or canned, look for the MSC blue fish label to know you’re choosing sustainable seafood that’s good for you and good for the ocean. The MSC is a global nonprofit dedicated to protecting wild seafood for generations to come. By taking the simple step to look for the MSC label when purchasing seafood, you can help protect oceans from overfishing, support fishermen and fishing communities, and promote traceability — from the ocean to your delicious seafood dish.
2. Seek healthy fats
Not all fats are created equal. With all the fad diets that come and go, the Mediterranean diet continues to top media and nutritionists' lists of best plans for healthy eating. It's also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The most commonly used fat in the Mediterranean diet is olive oil, which is great for cooking, salad dressings and more. Other healthy fats come from the foods themselves, like the unsaturated fats found in fish, nuts, seeds or avocados.
The Mediterranean approach is also plant-based, adding proteins like fish, lean meat, poultry and dairy (in moderation).
3. Opt for whole grains
Also featured in the Mediterranean plan are whole grains like brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat bread, oats and quinoa. Less-processed grains are healthier because they have both higher nutritional value and better fiber content.
The nutrients in many whole grains — including potassium, iron, phosphorus and more — help boost your heart health. The higher fiber in whole grains aids digestion and can help you keep your weight down, which can also improve your heart's function.
4. Focus on plants
You've probably heard a lot about plant-based eating recently. That's because of the growing awareness of both the health and the environmental benefits of focusing a larger portion of your diet on plants. Including a wider range of differently colored fruits and vegetables — plus nuts, seeds, beans and legumes — will give you the greatest nutritional benefits.
Plants offer tons of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fiber — and many contain more protein than you might expect. A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that eating more plant-based proteins is associated with lower heart disease risk in middle-aged adults.
5. Amp up your movement
Another vital ingredient in a heart-healthy lifestyle is exercise. Adding more daily movement helps you look and feel better, inside and out. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week, plus muscle-strengthening exercises at least twice a week. It's always best to consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise plan.
Choosing whole foods over processed foods will improve your heart health. Using herbs and spices can also make your meal plan easier to stick to. Not only do some seasonings — like ginger, garlic and turmeric — offer positive health benefits, but they can also reduce unhealthy cravings by satisfying your taste buds.
What’s good for your heart also can be good for the environment. When you make looking for sustainably-sourced, heart-healthy products part of your routine, you create a win-win for your health and for the health of the planet.
While family history and age cannot be changed, there are everyday steps men can follow to take charge of their health, including prostate health, and maybe even prevent problems down the road. Consider these tips to help lead a healthier lifestyle.
Men’s Health Matters
5 tips to maintain overall wellbeing
(Family Features) While family history and age cannot be changed, there are everyday steps men can follow to take charge of their health, including prostate health, and maybe even prevent problems down the road.
Consider these tips to help lead a healthier lifestyle.
Get checked out regularly. Just because you’re healthy doesn’t mean you should eschew routine checkups, and that includes self-examinations. While regular visits to your health care provider can keep you up-to-date on preventative screenings and immunizations, getting to know your own body can have similar benefits.
Care for your prostate. If you’re experiencing frequent urination, a weak or slow urine stream, incomplete bladder emptying, difficulty or delay in starting urination or a urine stream that stops and starts, these may be signs you may be suffering from Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia (BPH), otherwise known as enlarged prostate.1 Enlarged prostate, which is non-cancerous and affects more than 40 million American men, can also cause loss of productivity and sleep, according to research published in the “Journal of Urology.”2,3 Medication is often the first line of treatment, but some patients may suffer uncomfortable side effects including dizziness, headaches and sexual dysfunction, which can prompt them to quit using their medications.4
“Many men living with BPH symptoms take prescription medications after they have been diagnosed, but relief can be inadequate and temporary,” said Dr. Peter Walter, M.D., urologist and paid consultant for Teleflex Incorporated, the manufacturer of the UroLift® System.
As one alternative to medication, an option like the UroLift System treatment is a minimally invasive procedure that doesn’t require any cutting, heating or removal of prostate tissue.5 A urologist places small implants to lift and move enlarged prostate tissue so it no longer blocks the urethra and can allow for normal urine flow. Most common side effects are mild to moderate, and patients generally can return to their normal routines with minimal downtime. For more information about treatment options, or to find a urologist near you who treats BPH, visit UroLift.com.
Focus on a more nutritious diet. Aim for a pattern of healthier eating that includes more fruits, vegetables and leafy greens such as lettuce, spinach, kale and broccoli, which can help keep you – and your prostate – healthy.6 Also try to cut back on consumption of red meat – specifically processed meat – as well as salt and sweets.
Know your numbers. Be sure to discuss your family history and lifestyle with your doctor as he or she may recommend screenings for diseases and common ailments. Be sure to keep up with these screenings and check in with your doctor to make sure you’re accounting for milestone ages and common ailments associated with aging.
Make exercise a priority. Exercise is a key to maintaining quality of life. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity for adults.7 Even shorter increments of physical activity multiple times a day such as a walking meeting, opting for the stairs instead of the elevator or parking farther from your destination can provide health and stress-relieving benefits.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
1. Speakman et al. 2014 BJUI International
To lose weight in the new year - or any time of the year, instead of jumping on restrictive diet bandwagons, focus instead on consuming real, wholesome foods you can still enjoy that deliver benefits backed by decades of research. Consider these tips for incorporating nutrient-rich foods into a few trending diets to make them work for you.
Resolve to Make Real Nutrition a New Year Priority
(Family Features) A new year signals a chance to renew your commitment to healthier eating, but many of the most popular diets, like the keto diet and paleo diet, eliminate entire food groups, which can cause you to fall short on nutrients you need.
For example, a study in the “Journal of Clinical Lipidology” suggests low-carb diets may not have meaningful long-term benefits for weight or heart health compared to other diets and could actually restrict foods that are good for your heart.
This new year, instead of jumping on restrictive diet bandwagons, focus instead on consuming real, wholesome foods you can still enjoy, like dairy milk, that deliver benefits backed by decades of research.
Consider these tips for incorporating nutrient-rich foods into a few trending diets to make them work for you.
Intermittent Fasting: Skipping meals could do more harm than good if you’re not getting the nutrients you need to be your best. A better bet: balanced, flavorful meals that incorporate multiple food groups. If you really want to try intermittent fasting, consider not eating past a certain time in the evening so you can “fast” throughout the night, and make sure to eat a nourishing breakfast in the morning, like oatmeal made with real milk, topped with fruit and a handful of nuts.
Plant-Packed Plates: If you’re considering a vegetarian or plant-based diet in the new year, it’s important to pack the right nutrients into your meatless meals, particularly protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. Make sure you’re getting enough by enjoying a variety of plant-based foods like beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables along with some other thoughtfully chosen options. Real dairy milk is a good choice in a vegetarian diet, providing as much as eight times more protein than many non-dairy milk alternatives. Each 8-ounce glass is also a source of vitamin D, and an excellent source of calcium and vitamin B12.
Focus On Fats: If you’re keeping closer tabs on your fat intake, it’s important to choose the right ones and know that a growing body of evidence suggests not all saturated fats are the same. For example, whole milk, which has more dairy fat than skim or low-fat varieties, may actually help raise “good” cholesterol and could be considered part of a diet that’s also good for your heart, according to research in the “European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.”
Calorie Conscious: Monitoring the calories you consume versus the calories you burn through exercise and everyday activity can help manage the fuel your body needs. When you consistently burn more calories than you eat, you are more likely to effectively lose weight. However, that doesn’t mean you have to forgo all your favorite foods. For example, when it comes to dairy, swapping full-fat options for skim or low-fat alternatives is one way to receive the same nutrient package with less fat and calories.
Make better nutritional balance a priority this new year and find more advice and recipes at MilkLife.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Dairy farmers are committed to sharing milk’s vital nutrients in more environmentally conscious ways, and they’re making strides today and with each generation. When you buy a gallon of milk, you’re supporting farmers committed to continuous improvement while also incorporating one of the most nourishing foods available into your diet.
Real Milk’s Role in a Sustainable Farm-to-Table Diet
(Family Features) A dairy cow in a pasture can feel like a long way from the milk in refrigerators and at family tables. However, the distance between the farm and your family may be shorter and more sustainable than you think. Dairy farmers are committed to sharing milk’s vital nutrients in more environmentally conscious ways, and they’re making strides today and with each generation.
Sometimes it might feel difficult to balance your family’s nutritional needs with what’s best for the planet, but dairy milk production uses fewer resources than before while providing a unique nutrient package that nourishes your family.
Farmers, who work the land and care for the animals that help nourish families, understand that resources are finite and must be handled wisely. From using sustainable cow feed to reusing water and repurposing manure for fertilizer, farmers improve their operating practices, reduce waste and contribute to a better environment today and for the future.
In fact, today’s milk is made with 65 percent less water, 90 percent less land and 76 percent less manure, resulting in a 63 percent smaller footprint compared to 75 years ago, according to research published in the “Journal of Animal Science.”
When you buy a gallon of milk, you’re supporting farmers committed to continuous improvement while also incorporating one of the most nourishing foods available into your diet.
Dairy milk is a natural source of high-quality protein and is the top food source for calcium and vitamin D, which diets often lack, especially for children. In all, milk provides nine essential nutrients and is one of the original farm-to-table foods, meaning you’re making smart decisions about nutrition while providing your family with an increasingly sustainable food.
Across many aspects of life, balance is key. That is especially true in how and what people eat, and a truly sustainable diet involves more than its impact on physical surroundings. It must also be nutrient-rich, practical and affordable. The right amount of animal and plant foods can help create more sustainable diets for both people and the planet.
Learn more about how dairy farmers are stewards of the environment at milklife.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Here are five common resolutions transformed into small, healthful changes that can become part of your life — for good.
How are this year's resolutions doing? Chances are, you may have fallen off the resolution wagon, especially if you were overly ambitious. Fear not — it’s never too late to make small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle that result in big health improvements. Review your hardest-to-keep resolutions and adapt them into goals you can easily maintain.
Here are five common resolutions transformed into small, healthful changes that can become part of your life — for good.
1. Your resolution: Exercise one hour every day
Realistic goal: Add movement every day in 5- to 10-minute increments. Take a short walk around the office, stroll outside during the lunch hour or after dinner, jump on that exercise bike in the basement for a spin each morning or dance to music while you’re getting dinner ready. Sticking to a short period of movement a few times a day is a great way to boost energy and start building the exercise habit. While most of us find it hard to commit to big chunks of time, it’s tough to say no to 5 or 10 minutes. Arrange to walk with a friend if that helps keep you on track.
2. Your resolution: Drink eight glasses of water every day
Realistic goal: Increase water consumption by one glass at a time — when you first wake up, or before lunch and dinner. Drinking water before meals helps you feel full and aids digestion. If water doesn't entice you, make it easier for yourself by finding a water bottle that’s easy to carry around. Add a splash of lemon or lime for flavor. Once you’re in the habit of drinking water before one meal, it will be easier to add a glass before other meals as well.
3. Your resolution: Cut out all sugar
Realistic goal: Find healthy alternatives to reduce your sugar cravings. Try Monk Fruit In the Raw, a zero-calorie sweetener made from the vine-ripened monk fruit, which is native to Southeast Asia. This certified vegan, naturally gluten-free product is available in packets and a Bakers Bag and adds light sweetness to foods. Add it to your favorite baking recipes, smoothies or add a sweet touch to unsweetened beverages.
4. Your resolution: Cut out all snacking
Realistic goal: Find healthy, easy-to-prep snacks to stave off cravings for junk food, and to prevent you from overeating at mealtime. Small handfuls of nuts, raw veggies and fruits are obvious choices. Limit your snacks to 2-3 times per day. If your sweet tooth is your downfall, use a natural sweetener to sprinkle or drizzle on berries, or add a spoonful to your tea or coffee.
5. Your resolution: Stick to a specific diet
Realistic goal: Examine the diet you’re trying, whether it’s keto or paleo or something else, to identify the most important elements, and don’t go cold turkey. The keto diet is mostly about cutting carbs and sugars, plus highly processed sugar-free diet foods. The paleo diet also emphasizes proteins, cutting all dairy and sugar. Because both of these trending diets recommend eliminating both sugar and any artificial sugar substitutes, a sweetener such as Monk Fruit In The Raw is a great alternative. Cutting all carbs or dairy can be too challenging for most people — try reducing the “forbidden items” gradually to wean yourself from your usual eating habits.
Don't give up on those resolutions, even if you’ve slipped a little already. Adjusting your expectations will help you adapt more healthful habits you can stick with for a long, healthy life. And that’s a resolution worth keeping.
Nutty Grain-Free Granola and Yogurt Parfaits
4 Servings | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 45 minutes
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl combine Brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, almond meal, flax seeds, chia seeds, egg whites, coconut oil and monk fruit. Mix until thoroughly combined. Spread mixture on baking sheet. Bake 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes until lightly browned and fragrant. To serve, divide a few blackberries among 4 parfait glasses. Top with a spoonful of yogurt and 2 tablespoons of granola. Repeat layering once more, finishing with granola on top. Store leftover granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month. (BPT)
Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health. Here's an easy way to start your day "heart smart!"
Simple Ways to be Heart Smart
Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans
(Family Features) Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.
Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.
It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.
Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.
Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.
Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal
Cherry Pecan Energy Bites
Makes: 10-12 energy bites
Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.
*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes.SOURCE:
American Pecan Council
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