Reduce your risk factors

March 25, 2021 Providence News Team
Every woman has strengths and weaknesses. When talking heart health, weaknesses are known as risk factors. Risk factors are a variety of conditions or behaviors that increase your chance of developing heart disease and stroke. Some risk factors you have no control of like:
  • Age
  • Race
  • Family history
Others, you can control by choosing to make changes to your lifestyle. For example:
  • High blood pressure
  • Smoking
  • High cholesterol
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • Diabetes
Knowing your risk factors is an important step in shaping up your heart. To learn your risk, and get your most recent numbers (cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, weight). 
Many doctors don't bring up heart disease with their female patients. It's your job to speak up and start the conversation with your healthcare provider, even at your ObGyn or family doctor's office. Next time you visit your healthcare provider, talk through your questions. 
Nutrition in your kitchen is easy when you tweak your favorite recipes by adding, removing and replacing to make them healthier.
  • ADD healthy ingredients to recipes like fresh or frozen vegetables, beans and brown or wild rice, and frozen or fresh fruit. Try to eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and veggies each day.
  • REMOVE or cut down on less healthy ingredients in recipes by removing skin from chicken, and using less cheese, butter and sugar. Make sure you consume to less than 1,500 mg of sodium a day.
  • SUBSTITUTE less healthy ingredients with healthy ones. For example, use salsa as a topping instead of sour cream, sauté with cooking spray instead of butter, and choose low-sodium soups or broth.
Look for the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark 

The American Heart Association’s Heart-Check mark is an easy way to identify food packages that are part of a healthy dietary pattern, look for the Heart-Check Certified logo. Get Heart-Check certified recipes at

Click here to view the PowerPoint slides from week three of the BetterU program. 

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