Make your diet healthier for American Heart Month

Eating right for Heart Health Month
KOTA Territory News at Noon
Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 10:08 AM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - On Valentine’s day, the focus is always on someone else’s but February is also Heart Health Awareness Month where the focus shifts to our own hearts. We spoke with a Cardiologist at Monument Health and go heart to heart with tips for your health.

Febr-U-ary is not just the month of Valentine’s Day, there’s another reason to highlight our hearts. The leading cause of death in men and women is heart disease in the United States and what better than heart health month to remind us all to remember our own cardiovascular system. As part of a 3-part series on healthy heart awareness, we will spotlight how to fight the disease of this number #1 killer.

Doctors say the most common form of heart disease in the US is coronary artery disease, which happens when the arteries are narrowed or hardened due to a buildup of plaque or high cholesterol in our diets and a lack of exercise, being overweight, inactivity or eating processed foods add to the risk. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says heart disease is completely preventable and living a heart-healthy lifestyle is critical to limiting the risks.

Dr. Luis Hernandez, Cardiologist with Monument Health says controlling salt intake is a major step because salt places a lot of demand on the body. “I always tell my patients when they go to the grocery store to leave the salt there. The salt is bad because it makes the body retain more fluid”, says Hernandez. Fluid retention, adds Hernandez, can increase your blood pressure and puts strain on blood vessels pumping blood to the heart. Hernandez recommends “eat a lot of veggies and fruit, get rid of the salt, avoid canned foods, too much salt and sausages and frozen foods, it’s cheap but it isn’t good and it’s really bad for your heart”. We invite you to click on the video to watch the story.