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Today is National Wear Red Day.  The American Heart Association sponsors the annual event to raise awareness about the fight against heart disease in women.  Heart disease claims the lives of more women in the U.S. than all other forms of cancer combined.

How to Overcome Common Heart Problems

by Kathryn Flynn, M.P.H., Demand Media

Modify Your Fat Intake

Not all fats are created equally. Saturated fats, which are found in animal products including eggs, meat and dairy, can raise your cholesterol. Trans fats are man made and have been found to raise your bad cholesterol, LDL, and decrease your good cholesterol, HDL. Trans fats are found in manufactured and processed foods such as crackers, cookies and cakes. Both saturated and trans fats should be eliminated or consumed only on occasion in order to overcome high cholesterol, which could lead to heart disease. Unsaturated fats are derived from plant-based foods such as avocados, olive oil, nuts and seeds. They are considered heart-healthy and increase your HDL. These fats should be included more often in your diet than saturated and trans fats.

Reduce Sodium Intake

Your body does need a little bit of sodium, but if you have high blood pressure it does not need as much sodium as you are currently consuming. The easiest way to decrease your sodium intake is to stop salting your food. Additionally, avoid eating store-bought foods such as crackers, chips, soups and frozen dinners. These foods are often very high in sodium. If you tend to eat them, opt for alternative low-sodium versions. If you have high blood pressure, aim to keep your sodium intake below 1,500 milligrams per day.

Increase Fiber Intake

Foods high in fiber such as whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables help lower your cholesterol and help you feel fuller for longer, which will help prevent you from eating too much. Try to get at least 25 grams of fiber per day. If you are having a hard time eating enough food high in fiber, you can also try to drink a fiber supplement that dissolves in water.


Exercise is just as important as making dietary modifications for overcoming common heart health problems. Try to exercise most days of the week. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, adults between 18 to 64 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise, and do two days of muscle-strengthening exercise each week. If exercise is new to you, you can explore various activities and classes at local gyms to find the best and most enjoyable options for you.

National Wear Red Day Raises Women’s Heart Disease Awareness  was originally published on

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