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Research shows that you can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease significantly—by 82 percent—simply by leading a healthy lifestyle.
In most cases, that means following a heart-healthy eating plan, getting regular physical activity maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking. Some people also need to take medication to control heart disease risk factors such diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
A diet that promotes a healthy heart is one that is low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables. It also means managing cholesterol levels, and eating a diet that promotes healthy blood pressure. Studies have proven that the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet is very effective at lowering high blood pressure.
The federal Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend:
These guidelines also emphasize that people should aim for a healthy weight by being physically active every day.
If you’re concerned about the health of your heart, a registered WakeMed dietitian can work with you to assess your current eating habits and lifestyle—while taking into account your medical history and medications—to help you adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Controlling portion sizes is an important element to a heart-healthy diet. Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about the federal guidelines for food groups and portion sizes. (You’ll be taken to a new site.) Food groups to focus on include:
WakeMed’s Nutrition Services program is made up of licensed, registered dietitians who are committed to providing evidence-based, scientific nutrition advice.
These professionals have many years of experience counseling patients with cardiac disease, as well as people who simply want to eat a more heart-healthy diet.
With office hours from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., WakeMed dietitians offer convenient outpatient appointments that fit many schedules. Call 919-350-7000 (Option 4) to put their experience to work for you, or have your physician fax this Outpatient Nutrition Services referral form to us at 919-350-8959.
Cardiac dietary services are now being covered more frequently by health insurance providers. Check with your insurance carrier about coverage and costs.
WakeMed dietitians are ready to provide helpful information on a variety of topics. Wondering which protein bar is best? Confused about what you read in a nutrition news story or article? Is eating organic foods better for my health? Email your question to AskADietitian@wakemed.org.
WakeMed dietitians are frequent contributors on a variety of nutrition topics to our WakeMed Voices Blog.
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3000 New Bern Ave.
Raleigh, NC 27610