Be Heart Healthy on Valentine’s Day
One of the most well-known holiday’s in the month of February is Valentine’s Day. It’s a day typically observed to show your significant others, family and friends how much you love them. Candy-filled hearts, red cards, and heart shaped decorations often fill the day. But did you know that February is also American Heart Month?
According to the National Heart, Blood, and Lung Institute, American Heart Month was created to help people understand the importance of heart health and to encourage the prevention of heart disease. The Center for Disease Control stated that the leading cause of death in the United States is heart disease, which is caused by cardiovascular disease. People with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often also have cardiovascular disease, which can occur at any stage of CKD. To learn more about cardiovascular disease, check out this article, “Chronic Kidney Disease and Your Heart” on DaVita.com.
High Blood Pressure and Heart Disease
High blood pressure is one type of heart disease. This condition, which is also known as hypertension, is caused when blood goes through the blood vessels at a much higher pressure than usual. Over time this weakens the blood vessels and may lead to a stroke or heart attack. One way to help control blood pressure is to follow a low-salt, also known as low-sodium, diet. Checking food labels for sodium content, cooking with fresh herbs instead of salt, and using salt-free seasonings are some ways to reduce your salt intake. Cooking home-made meals also helps ensure you have control over the salt content of your food. Most restaurant, fast food and packaged foods tend to be high in sodium.
A Heart Healthy Diet
Along with a low-salt diet, following a heart-healthy diet can be beneficial to prevent heart disease. Some foods that are part of a heart-healthy diet are fish, lean meats, skinless chicken and turkey and eggs. Please check with your dietitian for serving sizes based on individual nutritional needs and stage of CKD.
Fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans are also part of a heart healthy diet. If you are on a potassium or phosphorus restriction, please check with a dietitian for serving sizes and choose lower potassium fruits and vegetables.
More to Love
Check out these DaVita resources for additional information on heart healthy diets and CKD:
- Heart Healthy Tips that Merge with a Kidney Diet
- Chronic Kidney Disease and Your Heart
- A Good Match: Merging the Heart and Kidney Diet
Looking for heart healthy and Valentine recipes? Check out these recipe collections:
In the spirit of Valentine’s Day make sure you love your heart on this day and every day!
Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day and a Happy American Heart Month!
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
- DaVita Diet Helper online meal planner and tracker
- DaVita Kidney-Friendly recipes
- Today’s Kidney Diet cookbooks
- Diet and Nutrition articles
- Kidney Smart® Classes taught by kidney experts in your area
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.