Celebrate American Heart Month and Valentine’s Day by having a heart-smart meal with your sweetheart.
A healthful diet and lifestyle can reduce the risk of heart disease. According to data provided in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans in 2010, 81.1 million Americans — 37 percent of the population — have cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease includes diseases of the heart and diseases of the blood vessel system (arteries, capillaries, veins) within a person’s entire body. The major risk factors for heart disease are high levels of blood cholesterol and other lipids, type 2 diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), metabolic syndrome, overweight and obesity, physical inactivity and tobacco use. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.