live video

Watch our coverage of 2017 Solar Eclipse

Think heart healthy in February


February is American Heart Month, helping to draw awareness of our nations leading killer, heart disease. Taking steps to fight this controllable and preventable disease means paying extra attention to our daily decisions, such as amount of exercise and eating right.

Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to keep track of how active you are during the day. Getting the recommended 10,000 steps is not as difficult as it may sound. Another popular means of tracking fitness level is heart-rate monitoring. The award-winning Mio ALPHA is the world’s first heart rate sport watch that offers accurate, continuous heart-rate monitoring at performance levels. It is equipped with Bluetooth Smart (4.0) technology that connects Mio ALPHA to fitness apps on iPhone and select Android devices. (www.mioglobal.com).

Being more active is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to heart health, what you eat is another. Most people who try to diet end up failing, for a variety of reasons. Instead of forcing yourself to avoid certain foods, look for a healthier alternative. For foods that you just won’t give up, try cutting the portion to half its normal size. Also consider switching from full fat products to fat free, replace high-calorie sugary drinks with water and increase fiber so you feel fuller faster.

More tips:

Allison Stowell is a registered dietitian with Guiding Stars (guidingstars.com), a nutrition guidance program that rates the nutritional quality of food using information from the Nutrition Facts Panel and the ingredients list. Stowell’s 6 choices to better heart health include:

Choose vitamins and minerals/RD pick: fruit and vegetables. No need for artificial vitamins and supplements when you are consuming a diet complete with colorful fruits and vegetables.

Lower your sodium intake/RD pick: organic no-salt added products. Read food labels, and consume less processed foods. When salt intake is high, your taste buds can become immune to the taste, leading to greater use over time.

Increase fiber and whole grains/RD pick: Post shredded wheat spoon size wheat n’ bran cereal. Made from whole grain wheat and wheat bran, Stowell states that this cereal is low in calories, rich in fiber and protein and is saturated/trans fat free.

Consume Less Added Sugar/RD Pick: Chobani Plain, Non-fat Greek Yogurt. Twice the protein per serving of regular yogurt and no sugar added, it’s perfect for a low-calorie meal or snack, or as a stand in for high-fat dairy products.

Avoid Trans Fats/RD Pick: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Deliciously Simple Spread. Deliciously simple with just 9 you-can-read-them ingredients.

Choose the Right Fat. Avoid artery clogging trans fats and opt for heart healthy foods such as freshwater fish, seeds and nuts and whole grains.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in

7 of the craziest, coolest places to stay in Hocking Hills
7 of the craziest, coolest places to stay in Hocking Hills

Ohio’s Hocking Hills region offers plenty of charming B&Bs, cozy inns and romantic cottages to choose from if you are looking to make a weekend out of your road trip. Here are a few options that are off the beaten path to grab a night’s rest in. Experience the magic and tranquility of camping in traditional Sioux Native American tipis,...
Our ‘brilliant’ cat’ sets a high bar
Our ‘brilliant’ cat’ sets a high bar

In the first week of February, this newspaper published an article entitled, “Are cats actually as smart as dogs? New study says so.” Japanese researchers found that just like dogs, cats could “retrieve and utilize information from a single past event.” Both cats and dogs recalled which food bowls they had previously eaten....
What are your joints telling you?
What are your joints telling you?

After sitting for long periods of time, do you feel stiff? Do you have joint pain that is limiting your movement? Has a past joint injury started hurting again and you are not sure why? “One common cause of achy joints is inflammation,” says Matthew Heckler, DO, of Orthopedic Associates of SW Ohio. “When bones, tendons, and the cushions...
School means backpacks — be sure to use them safely
School means backpacks — be sure to use them safely

It’s back to school time, and for many students, this means wearing a backpack. While a backpack is a convenient storage place for books and school supplies, if overloaded or worn improperly carrying them can spell trouble over time. A study of pre-kindergarten through ninth-grade students found that changes in posture, particularly excessive...
The Kid Whisperer: When you disagree with your kids’ parenting style

Dear Kid Whisperer, I am a grandparent to three granddaughters who have parents that try, but don’t like to say “no” to their children. They want my husband and me to be on board with that philosophy as well. As former educators, we cannot with a clear conscience agree. We are finding it harder to spend time with our grandkids. Any...
More Stories