February is American Heart Month and a great opportunity to help spread awareness about preventing heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) reports heart disease and related conditions cost the U.S. roughly $313 billion each year in healthcare costs, medication, and lost productivity. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle – maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, regularly checking blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and taking the appropriate medications.
One way you can make a difference is by encouraging your family to make small changes in their diet, such as reducing their salt intake. The AHA created "The Salty Six" to illustrate the foods that contribute the most sodium to our diets. In addition to high blood pressure, excess levels of sodium may put you at risk for stroke, heart failure, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and other diseases. Take a stand against heart disease by sharing this information and promoting heart-healthy nutrition.