Four weeks ago, today, my mom had a heart attack. I never ever thought it would happen to her. There is no heart disease in our family; she doesn’t have high blood pressure; she has healthy cholesterol levels; and she is fun-loving and easygoing. Yet, she was rushed to the hospital with one of her main arteries 100% closed, and I have been told many times since that she came very close to losing her life.
What saved her was knowing the symptoms and acting quickly. Symptoms can be different for men and women, and knowing this could save your life. My mom did not feel like an elephant was sitting on her chest. What she did experience was dizziness, extreme sweating, nausea and dry heaves, and then a slight pain down her left arm and in her chest. I encourage you to learn more about the warning signs of a heart attack by visiting the American Heart Association website.
Of course, most of what you can do to prevent heart disease focuses on diet and exercise. At California Chef, all our meals are cooked heart healthy, with low sodium, low sugar, and low fat. We can also go beyond our standard “lows,” and if your doctor has prescribed any specific dietary requirements, we can incorporate them into your meals.
If you are cooking for yourself, a healthy balance of protein, carbs, and fat is recommended. Here are some tips to help you get started:
Proteins: Proteins should be lean and skin free. Keep red meat to a minimum and cut off all fat; stay away from marbled cuts. Eat fish at least twice a week, especially those high in omega 3 fatty acids.
Carbs: Choose fiber-rich carbs like whole grains and legumes, or products made with these ingredients. Eat lots of vegetables and fruits. The American Heart Association recommends at least 4 ½ cups a day.
Fats: Buy fat-free and low-fat dairy. Eliminate fried foods and limit trans fats as much as possible. Some sources of healthy fats are nuts, seeds, avocado, and olive oil. Even though these are “healthy” fats, they should be consumed in moderation.
As always, you should ask your doctor if you have any questions regarding your health or diet. But if you would like delicious heart-healthy meals, California Chef would be happy to provide them to you. For pricing and more details, click here.