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February is Heart Month

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February is Heart Month

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Several factors can contribute to heart disease. It sometimes runs in
families, and while there is nothing you can do about your genetics, many external risk factors are within your control. Take these steps to lower your risks.

> Stop smoking, using smokeless tobacco, and/or vaping
> Check your cholesterol and triglyceride levels regularly
> Monitor blood pressure
> Get more exercise
> Choose healthier foods and beverages

Research has shown that consuming a diet high in unhealthy saturated and trans fats is more concerning than high cholesterol in our food. The liver is stimulated by these unhealthy fats to make the cholesterol, which increases heart disease risk. Foods to avoid on a heart-healthy diet include:

> Fast food (especially deep fried foods)
> Foods high in saturated and trans fats
> Soft drinks or foods high in added sugars
> Foods high in sodium, including processed or cured meats

Debra Heverling