Friday, September 21 , 2018, 11:54 am | Partly Cloudy 71º

 
 
 
Your Health
A Noozhawk partnership with Cottage Health

Expert Tips to Make 2017 a Heart Healthy Year

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(Cottage Health photo)

Start with a Clean Slate

Clean and organize your pantry and refrigerator by chucking the overly processed junk foods. Replace those sugary cereals, cookies and crackers with hydrogenated oils, bottled salad dressings and refined grains like white rice and pasta. Instead, stock up on healthy granolas and unsalted nuts and seeds; a good olive and avocado oil; a variety of vinegars; and whole grains such as quinoa, farro, bulgur, millet and brown rice.

Be Truthful

It can be easy to fool yourself into thinking you’re eating healthy. Sure, there are carrots in that cake and peaches in that pie. But these foods don’t count toward the fruits and veggies you should eat every day.

Cook More

Develop seven to 10 go-to healthy recipes and the shopping lists you need for them. Print them out or take photos of them with your phone. Let family members pick favorites.

Reduce Sodium

Experiment by seasoning food with herbs and spices such as basil and rosemary.

Read the Ingredient List

Many people focus on the front of the package and the Nutrition Facts label. A quick shortcut if you’re confused: Start by looking for foods with nutritious ingredients listed first, such as whole grains, fruits or vegetables.

Stay Hydrated

Start the day with a glass of water first thing in the morning. Look for healthier options other than sugar-sweetened beverages such as sparkling water. Make water tastier by adding fruit to your ice cubes.

Get Moving

While many of us focus on diet with our resolutions, remember the importance of getting active, too. It doesn’t take a lot of exercise to improve your heart health, help lose weight and just feel better.

Keep track of your exercise time. The American Heart Association recommends 90 minutes a week of moderate physical activity for most adults each week (or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity each week or a mix of both). Kids should get about an hour a day.

Always check with your physician before beginning any new exercise program.

— Content provided by the American Heart Association.

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