The Key to a Healthy Heart
The heart is a mesmerizing organ of the body; a limb that creates harmony and health for other organs. However, with the propagation of junk food and fast food throughout the nation and also poor lifestyle choices among individuals, it is with no wonder that the shadow of cancer and heart disease scattering over our lives. According to the American Heart Association, heart disease is the leading cause of death in men and women in the United States (2). For that reason, we -as human beings, are responsible for taking good care of our health so not only years will be added to our lives, but also we will be able to add life to our years. Fortunately, by pursuing a set of correct lifestyle principles such as exercising and positive eating habits, the hope for a strong, healthy heart, which results in both mental and physical wellbeing, can be achieved.
Regular exercise can strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system (1), but also a moment of peace and ecstasy can be ensued thru a healthy family meal at the end of a busy day. This behavior will offer families to benefit and enjoy each other’s company, but more importantly, everyone will learn how the unpleasant, on-the-go eating lacks the sense of a heart-healthy living. To nurture this healthy behavior, family members can encourage each other to get involved in shopping groceries and prepare for family meals. Learning how to make healthy food choices results in cooking nutritious and wholesome meals, which benefits both the body and the heart. Whether it is snack time or meal time, the most important fact for growing a strong, vigorous heart is to change the habit of consuming unhealthy processed food to fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and in general, fiber-based foods, which according to the American Heart Association, will help lower the cholesterol (5). Nevertheless, if meals are not prepared with care and low-quality oil is used for cooking, even the healthiest ingredients may lose their essential vitamins and minerals and therefore, turn into substandard, poor quality foods.
Most individuals assume avoiding fats is the key to a healthier heart. However, as this fact is true regarding trans and saturated fats, but omitting natural and nutrient oils may be harmful to human wellbeing. That being said, it is essential for individuals to understand and comprehend the difference among fats. “Saturated fats are not heart healthy,” (2) and they are mostly known for raising bad cholesterol in the body. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are natural fats that are known as heart-healthy fats. Not only these fats have the ability to lower bad cholesterol, but also they can increase the level of good cholesterol in the body. Thus, the usage of healthy-heart oils in our daily nutrition program is one of the main keys to promote a healthy heart.
Living a healthy lifestyle can fit as our New Year’s resolution. With consistent and proper implementation of eating manners during the year, this goal can be maintained and the threat for heart disease among our society can be drastically reduced. The heart pumps blood all around the body transferring vital nutrients to different organs, consequently, the more nutritious meals and healthy oils are consumed, the more the heart will benefit and grow stronger. Yet, the time and effort spent for promoting and developing such attitude is all worth the outcome, which is a healthy heart and holistic well-being.
"Cooking for Lower Cholesterol." Cooking for Lower Cholesterol. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Dec. 2012.
"Exercises to Keep Your Heart Healthy." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 26 Dec. 2012.
"Heart and Stroke Association Statistics." Heart and Stroke Association Statistics. American Heart Association, n.d. Web. 25 Dec. 2012.
"MNN - Mother Nature Network." MNN - Mother Nature Network. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Dec. 2012.