Blog post written by Taylor Bartosiewicz, IUPUI Dietetic Intern 2019
Image from parkcrescenthealth.blog
Did you know your heart beats about 115,200 times each day? Your heart works hard for you, so it’s important to take care of your heart. February is a great time to learn more about eating smart for your heart because it is American Heart Month!
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. You can’t change some risk factors for heart disease, like age and family history. However, the good news is that as much as 80% of the risk for heart disease can be prevented with diet and lifestyle behaviors.
Foods to Choose Often for Heart Health
Image from everydayhealth.com
Foods to Limit for Heart Health
Image from health.gov
Other Heart Health Tips
Regular physical activity also has multiple heart health benefits. According to the American Heart Association, exercising for 30 minutes most days of the week can reduce blood pressure, help your heart work more efficiently, manage stress, and maintain a healthy weight.
Knowing your numbers can also help you take charge of your heart health. Visit your doctor at least once a year to check your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.
What can you do to support heart health today?
Image from riverwoodhealthcare.org
Blog post written by Samantha Bradshaw, IUPUI Dietetic Intern
Photo from www.healthydirections.com/articles/digestive-health/gut-health-benefits-of-fiber
Fiber: What is it and why is it important?
Fiber is a carbohydrate that humans cannot digest. Fiber passes through the body and works to manage how the body uses sugar. This process keeps hunger and blood sugar at a normal level. There are two types of fiber that can be consumed: soluble fiber and insoluble fiber.
How is fiber beneficial to overall health?
A diet high in fiber can reduce the risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, inflammation of the intestines (also known as diverticular disease), and constipation. People who eat high fiber diets also have a lower risk for metabolic syndrome (multiple conditions that develop together and increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and stroke). Fiber, specifically soluble fiber, is good for maintaining the bacteria in your gut as well as controlling blood sugar, helping with weight management, immunity, and brain function.
Which foods are high in fiber?
Fiber can be found in almost any type of whole food that comes from plants. Generally, whole grains, legumes, beans, fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber. Some examples of high fiber foods include oats, barley, lentils, pears, brown rice, whole wheat bread, apples, and chickpeas.
Fiber can also be added into foods in the form of chicory root or inulin. Look for these words in the ingredients list on food packages to know if fiber has been added.
Photo from www.theplanettoday.com/foods-that-contain-fiber/
How much fiber should I eat each day?
According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the recommended amount of dietary fiber intake is 14 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed. For example, if you eat 2,000 calories a day, you should aim for 28 grams of fiber daily.
The Institute of Medicine recommends different levels of fiber by age and gender:
Image from employees.henrico.us/county-connection/fill-up-with-fiber/
To put this in perspective, a 40-year-old woman could meet her daily fiber requirements by eating:
Tips to increase fiber intake:
There are many ways you can boost the amount of fiber in your diet. It is important to increase your fiber intake slowly and gradually to prevent side effects like gas, bloating, and cramping. It is also important to drink plenty of water so fiber can work properly in your body.
While most people can meet their dietary fiber needs through food, others may benefit from a fiber supplement. Be sure to talk to your doctor and/or dietitian before starting any supplements!
Original photo by Samantha Bradshaw
High-Fiber Oatmeal Recipe
This simple breakfast recipe provides a filling 7 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein to keep you fueled all morning!
Recipe makes one serving. Nutrition information: 435 calories, 64 g carbohydrates, 15 g total fat, 15 g protein, 7 g fiber. Allergen information: contains peanuts and gluten (unless gluten-free oats are used).
Blog post written by Melissa Elliott, IUPUI Dietetic Intern
Happy American Heart Month! February is a time meant to encourage heart disease prevention by sharing healthy lifestyle tips and increasing awareness of heart health. Heart disease is one of the most common causes of death for American men and women. The good news is that up to 80% of heart disease is preventable by following a heart-healthy lifestyle.
Photo from blog.publix.com
Nutrition is a key factor to a heart-healthy lifestyle. What are some ways you can eat to protect your heart health?
Photo from food-guide.canada.ca
Try these heart-healthy meals from our Recipes Page to get started!
You can also download our Heart Healthy Eating handout for more information.
Staff Registered Dietitians at Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, along with guest blog posts by dietetic interns