February is Heart Health month and coincidentally new guidelines have just been released for preventing heart disease in women.
February is Heart Health month and coincidentally new guidelines have just been released for preventing heart disease in women. Nearly all American women are in danger of heart disease or stroke and there are some significant things we can all do to prevent the onset of problems, starting many when you are young is the best prevention.
This is the first time that guidelines have encouraged women to take aspirin for daily preventing stroke. Sounds familiar but this is a new recommendation for women. However this is not recommended for young women and the American Heart Association strongly suggests speaking with a physician before heading to your local drugstore for a bottle of aspirin. Although men are advised to start taking aspirin daily, it is not recommended for women until age 65.
It is not surprising that the guidelines advise daily exercise and eating less fat. They also declare vitamins C and E, beta carotene and folic acid supplements worthless for preventing heart disease. This doesn't mean that those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants have no other benefits. Folic acid is especially important if you are considering getting pregnant or already are.
At risk of sounding like a broken record, since the suggestions sound very familiar, here is the list of new recommendations.
- Exercise is so important. Get at least 30 minutes of moderately intense exercise on most and preferably all days, 60 to 90 minutes if you need to lose weight.
- Watch what you eat. Eat mostly fruits and vegetables, whole grain and high-fiber foods, fish at least twice a week, and little salt. Limit saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories, 7 percent if possible, and trans fats to less than 1 percent. Limit alcohol to one drink or less a day.
There's more, so read more