February is obviously known for hearts related to Valentine’s Day, but it is also heart month for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
I have recently been thinking about heart health as my husband is trying to address his high blood pressure and it certainly brings home the reality of looking after our hearts. Being in his 40’s and exercising regularly, we felt assured that such things as high blood pressure were on the worry list for our neighbours not us, but lo and behold – not so.
Following a visit for an unrelated health check, a reading of 185 over 80 brought things into instant focus and made me re-evaluate how we eat and in particular how much caffeine and sodium we consume. We are already active and at a healthy weight, both important contributing factors, and his age and gender are strikes against his blood pressure outside of my influence so that left limited control for me.
First off, I am NOT his doctor, so I told him to go see him instead. I may work for a health care facility, but at the end of the day, this may require medication and that is outside of my purview. What I am, however, is the cook in the house. So I did review what we eat and overall we eat very healthy, but whilst I don’t have a sweet tooth, I like my salt. So that was the main adjustment. Of course in your home, make sure you limit fried and fatty foods, get your fruits and vegetables and then like myself, assess your sodium. I think the most eye opening was the unknown sodium consumption. I already tried to limit how much salt I used in my cooking, but on looking at things like the stock and sauces I use, it started to add up quickly.
So start by checking your blood pressure to assess your heart health and make sure you are looking after yourself and your loved ones.
Your friends at the Kawartha North FHT