18 Feb A Hearty Dose of Reality
Last week on Valentine’s Day, everyone celebrated their love with overwhelming amounts of candy, flowers, and being bombarded by hearts everywhere. But let’s talk about something similar, only more important: Heart Health
This month is actually National Heart Month–a great time to get serious and learn the facts about this #1 killer in the United States.
Yes, you read that right. More people die from cardiovascular (heart) disease than any other condition. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that about 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year. That’s equivalent to about one in every four deaths.
Heart disease claims more lives than the combination of cancer, chronic lung disease, diabetes, and accidents! It is the leading cause of death for both men and women! Every 37 seconds, cardiovascular disease claims the life of someone else in the U.S.
The Heart’s Role
We all know the heart is an integral part of our body. But let’s see what makes it so special:
On average, this muscular organ is the size of a fist, weighs roughly one pound, beats 115,000 times a day, and pumps more than 2,000 gallons of blood a day. It is responsible for sending blood around your body, providing your body wit the oxygen, nutrients, and hormone cells it needs. It also is responsible for the removal of metabolic wastes like carbon dioxide and nitrogenous wastes. In a nutshell, the heart is key to helping your body function.
Am I at Risk?
Yet, amidst how necessary the heart is for our bodies to function, so many people abuse it by not properly caring for it. On average, Americans have hearts that are seven years older than what they should be.
Those most at risk for heart disease are people with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, those who smoke, those who are obese, people who have diabetes, people who have limited physical activity, and those who have poor eating habits. This affects more people than you might think. Studies show that half of all Americans have either high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or smoke.
Keeping the Heart Beating Smoothly
Fortunately, cardiovascular disease is preventable (for the most part) when people make healthy choices and manage their health well. The following are ways you can improve your heart health:
- Dont Smoke
Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. If you don’t smoke, don’t start.
- Manage Your Health Conditions
If you have conditions that put you at risk for heart disease (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes), talk with your doctor to help you manage it. You may need to take some medications to assist you.
- Eat a Heart-healthy Diet
Eat food low in trans-fat, saturated fat, added sugar, and sodium. Try to fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits, and strive to eat food low in sodium. Replace salt with spices and other seasonings and opt for reduced sodium products at the grocery store. Jolla Llama believes in eating well and having a good balance–which is why we offer a great snack that’s a healthier alternative to others on the market. All our fruit Sorbet Pops are made from real fruit, have 0 trans fats, 0 sodium, and have fewer than 80 calories per serving. Try the mango, strawberry, blackberry, or raspberry flavors today!
- Increase Physical Activity
Around 40% of Americans don’t get enough physical activity that meets the CDC’s guidelines. Being physically inactive at the lowest level puts you at higher heart risk than smoking. You should strive to get moving for a minimum of 150 minutes per week, which can also be broken up into 10, 20, or 30 minute blocks. Sitting for too long is also an independent risk factor for heart disease. Even if you exercise regularly, it’s still wise to decrease your sitting time throughout the day.
While it may sound silly (go ahead and laugh), laughter is actually really good for your heart. It reduces stress and gives a boost to your immune system. Happy people have a lower risk for developing heart disease. One study conducted in 2010 found that happiest people were 22% less likely to develop heart disease over the 10 years of follow-up than people in the ‘negative-positive’ emotion scale.
At Jolly Llama, we put priority on your health and wellness. We stand behind our products that are free from artificial flavorings and sweeteners in order to give you the best quality at an affordable price. Take care of your heart health today and opt for one of our Sorbet Pops instead of a snack chucked full of sodium, trans fats, and sugars. You won’t regret it!