CAT | Heart Health
Everyone knows fiber supports digestive health and is great for helping to keep you regular, but really that’s just the tip of the iceberg.‡ A diet high in fiber is good for your whole body, and in fact studies have shown that a high-fiber diet offers the following benefits:
- Helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels‡
- Supports normal blood sugar‡
- Promotes cardiovascular health‡
- Helps remove toxins and waste‡
- Curbs appetite by helping you feel full‡
Now for the bad news: according to the National Institutes of Health, Americans aren’t getting nearly enough fiber—on average only 10 to 15 grams per day.
Add More Fiber with the Love Your Heart Eating Plan
Foods high in fiber are encouraged in Brenda Watson’s Love Your Heart Eating Plan because fiber is a type of carbohydrate that is not digested by enzymes in the digestive tract. High-fiber foods decrease the absorption of carbs after a meal, in turn helping to control blood sugar and insulin response to carbohydrates.
Brenda recommends eating 35 grams of fiber daily from plenty of non-starchy vegetables and low-sugar fruits. The addition of a fiber supplement is also a great way to ensure you get enough fiber each day;‡ just be sure to look for a supplement that is:
- Made with natural and organically grown ingredients
- Made with lignan-rich flax fiber, soluble acacia fiber or natural chia seed
Psyllium-free to prevent cramping, gas and/or bloating
National Walking Day may sound a little silly at first, but consider this: a simple act such as increasing the amount of steps we take every day can have a significant impact on cardiovascular health and heart disease prevention, which is why the American Heart Association (AHA) designated April 2nd as a day to encourage people of all ages to get out there and get moving!
According to the AHA website, walking is the simplest positive change you can make to improve your heart health, and just 30 minutes a day can help you:
- Reduce your risk of coronary heart disease and stroke
- Improve your blood pressure, blood sugar levels and blood lipid profile
- Maintain your body weight and lower the risk of obesity
- Enhance your mental well-being
- Reduce your risk of osteoporosis
- Reduce your risk of breast and colon cancer
- Reduce your risk of non-insulin dependent (type 2) diabetesi
Ready to walk your way to a healthier heart?
Here are 5 simple ways to add more steps to your daily routine:
- Take a lunch break stroll. Consider spending a little bit of your lunch break on your feet. Not only will a midday walk help your heart, but it can help relieve stress so you’re refreshed and energized to finish out your day.
- Running errands? Park a little farther away. Whether you’re headed out for groceries, an appointment with your doctor, or simply meeting a friend for coffee, park farther away than you normally would. Those extra steps can add up to a healthier heart!
- Opt for a brisk walk with Fido. Instead of just opening up the back door and letting him in the yard, why not take the dog for a quick ten-minute walk before you leave for the day, or as soon as you get home?
- Find a walking buddy. Everything’s better with a buddy, and now that spring is here the warmer weather and lingering daylight hours allow us to stay outdoors a little longer each day—so grab your friend or mate and get walking!
- Multitask. Get the most out of your walks by incorporating other activities, such as listening to an audiobook or catching up with a friend or family member on the phone.
To find out more about National Walking Day—including how to get others in your community involved—visit the AHA’s National Walking Day web page.