MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — February is National Heart Month, and experts are using this time to tell everyone about heart-healthy super foods.  After all, heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States.

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Here is some advice from Life Time Fitness:

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1. Heart healthy eating tips:

  • Integrate foods that protect your heart in to your diet. Examples include Omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish (salmon, sardines, herring, etc.) and plant sources (flax seed and walnuts) and naturally-occurring high fiber foods (beans, legumes, quinoa, steel cut oats, vegetables, and some fruits).
  • When considering a heart healthy diet, consider eating a diet of whole foods that provide adequate protein, healthy fats, and moderate carbohydrates.
  • Avoid high sugar items, especially processed foods as diets high in processed foods and sugar cause inflammation in the body resulting in elevated blood lipids and increase your risk for heart disease.
  • Choose the right supplements. Try an Omega-3 supplement, guaranteed mercury free and pharmaceutical grade as well as fish oil.
  • Know what to look for on food labels. Avoid things such as too much sodium.

2. Integrating heart health into your meals:

  • People get caught up in everyday meals consisting of eggs, sandwiches or salads and meat and potatoes. One of the things people need to do, especially when it comes to heart health, is thinking about eating outside of the box.
    • Breakfast — meat and nuts (i.e. salmon burger and almonds)
    • Snack — homemade trail mix including nuts, dried fruit and turkey jerky
    • Lunch — salad; LifeCafe has great salads including a grilled salmon or mahi-mahi
    • Dinner — Chicken with quinoa cooked with onions and peppers
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3. Finding the right supplements and navigating food labels to promote the health of your heart:

  • Know what to look for on food labels
    • Avoid high sugar
    • Avoid too much sodium
    • Moderate carbohydrates
    • High fiber