Heart Healthy Tips From Maple Knoll
February is not only the month for Valentine’s- it’s also American Heart Month!
Many of us take care of residents with cardiac issues every day. Perhaps we have cardiac issues of our own.
But did you know that heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women?!
The CDC lists the following statistics on it’s website:
• Every year about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack.
• 600,000 people die from heart disease each year
The good news is this: heart disease is not only controllable, but also preventable!
We have our very own expert here at MKV regarding heart healthy diets! Lucie Ashton, RD,N,LD has been a Dietitian for 20 years- 15 of those years have been as an employee at Maple Knoll. She is certified in Adult Weight Management and she was excited to hare her knowledge for this article.
Here are Lucie’s tips on a heart healthy diet:
1. Watch your portion sizes. Example- a serving of pasta should only be the size of a hockey puck; meat portions should be the size of a deck of cards.
2. eat more fruits and vegetables- fresh or frozen ones are better.
3. Select whole grains like whole wheat bread, brown rice, high fiber cereal or oatmeal.
4. Limit unhealthy fats and cholesterol by using skim milk, olive oil, canola oil; and by limiting saturated and transfats in your diet.
5. Choose low fat protein sources: lean meats, poultry; egg whites or egg substitutes are good.
6. Reduce the amount of sodium (salt) in your food! Use herbs, spices and salt substitutes instead.
7. Plan ahead- you will do much better with your overall diet if you plan meals out ahead of time, versus making decisions at the last minute
8. Allow yourself an occasional “treat” or “cheat”. It can’t be about limiting yourself all the time!
So what food items should we try to avoid?
Lucie states that we should avoid eating at buffets/smorgasbords as they typically result in a person overeating to “get their money’s worth”. Also, she recommends limiting donuts, muffins, frozen waffles, biscuits, cakes or items in vending machines. One should also avoid hot dogs and sausages; egg yolks, liver, fried foods and breaded meats as those are counterproductive to a heart-healthy diet. Following these tips is one step towards a healthier heart!
Another option to help us improve our hearth health is our on-site Wellness Center. Jon Williamson is the manager of the Wellness Center and has Bachelor’s degrees in both Physical Education and recreation Management. According to Jon, the Wellness Center is open to employees 24 hours a day for a small fee of $8.32 per pay period. Are you aware that the Center offers circuit training, Nu Step, Ellipitical and treadmill equipment? They also have the new addition of a Spin Bike! Another offering at the Wellness Center is the Active Trax which, according to Jon is is like having a “trainer in a box”. The employee can plug in their personal training goals and track their progress. We currently have about 18 employees using the Wellness Center. So if you’re looking for a new option for getting healthy in 2014- come on over and see Jon.
Look for more information in next month’s newsletter from these MKV experts on nutrition and weight loss!