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February 9, 2017

February is National Heart Month!

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 370,000 deaths per year. February is National Heart Month and now, more than ever, people are turning to their diet to improve their health. The American Heart Association together with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institute of Health has identified 7 of the leading health factors that contribute to heart disease and stroke, known as, “Life’s Simple 7.”

• Smoking
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Poor diet
• Overweight/obesity
• Elevated cholesterol
• High blood pressure
• Poor blood sugar control/Diabetes

A heart healthy diet, known as the Mediterranean diet, has been shown to decrease blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol levels and decrease the incidence of heart attack and stroke. It has also been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

• Eating primarily plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts
• Replacing butter with healthy fats like olive and avocado oil
• Using herbs and spices instead of salt to flavor foods
• Limiting red meat to no more than a few times a month
• Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
• Enjoying meals with family and friends
• Drinking red wine in moderation
• Getting plenty of exercise

At Food & Friends, our regular and therapeutic diets are modeled after the Mediterranean diet and provide our clients with the heart healthy nutrition they need to thrive. We provide our clients with a variety of plant foods, whole-grain breads, cereal and pasta, a variety of herbs and spices to flavor their food, heart healthy fats and lean proteins like fish and poultry. Small changes every day can have a big impact in the life and health of you and your loved ones!

1. Healthy Lifestyle: Nutrition and Healthy Eating. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved from:
2. Heart Disease, Stroke and Research Statistics at a Glance. American Heart Association. Retrieved from:

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