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Ten Hints for a Healthy Heart and a Healthy Body

Basing your diet according to a number on the scales is not the ideal way to make your body healthy. Healthy eating is not a magic number or a "diet" but, a lifestyle that will keep your heart and your entire body feeling great. Here are ten lifestyle changes that can help ensure you are taking the right steps:

  1. Don't smoke.
  2. Get moving - 60 minutes per day of physical movement will help keep your entire body functioning well. Consult your physician before adding exercise if you have not been exercising previously.
  3. Lose weight, if you are overweight - BMI < 25 is a good goal to reach. Visit your local doctor or dietitian to get your BMI tested today.
  4. Limit the fat in your diet - <30% of total calories should come from fat. Limit fried foods, baked goods, and high fat condiments such as salad dressings and butter.
  5. Balance the type of fat you eat - <10% of fat should come from saturated or trans fat. Learn to read a food label to see where these products are found.
  6. Watch your cholesterol intake - choose low fat dairy and lean meat products moderately.
  7. Concentrate on complex carbohydrates - whole grains, fruits, vegetables and beans are good sources.
  8. Find more fiber - aim for 25-30 grams of fiber a day, shooting to consume 5-9 servings of fruits and veggies is a great start.
  9. Limit sodium and salt - limit instant foods, fast food, and try to avoid the salt shaker.
  10. Alcohol in moderation.