Doctors Hospital of Augusta
February 24, 2014

Augusta, GA - No matter how well you control your stress or how often you exercise, you must have a healthy diet to maintain cardiovascular wellness. In honor of American Heart Month, Doctors Hospital is helping raise awareness about heart disease and heart health throughout February.

“Making small changes in your diet is key to heart-health” said Patricia Ward, Clinical Dietitian at Doctors Hospital. “Making these choices will help promote long-term success when trying to reduce the risk of heart disease.”

The following tips are easy changes that can be made to your diet that will result in major benefits for your heart:

Reduce Sugary Drinks
Weight is a great factor of heart health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Weight management is all about balance—balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses or “burns off.” When these calories are not burned off they cause weight gain. Over time unwanted weight that accumulates could affect your heart. Your heart must work harder to make sure that blood reaches all areas of your body. Soft drinks and other sugary drinks contain hundreds of calories, which could impact your weight. To prevent unwanted weight gain, switch out sugary drinks for water or low-fat milk.

Avoid Processed Starches
Carbohydrates are an important part of our everyday diet. However, not all carbohydrates are good for you. Some carbohydrates undergo extensive processing steps that strip them of many nutrients that are healthy for you. If you want to eat well for your heart health, eliminate foods such as white bread, white rice, and white pasta from your diet. Also, be sure to read all the ingredients of the items you consume.

Plate Up the Produce
Fruits and vegetables are healthy carbohydrates that are often low in calories and high in nutrients. Incorporate fruits and vegetables into every meal to ensure you are getting the vitamins you need for a healthy diet. The low calorie count of these foods can also prevent you from gaining weight that may strain your heart.

Get Screened
Heart disease, including stroke, is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, but they can also result in serious disability and decreased quality of life. Find out if you are at risk for a heart attack or stroke. Schedule an Angioscreen test at Doctors Hospital. Call (706) 651-4343 to schedule a cardiovascular screening or for more information.