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In 2004, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge. Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an “older man’s disease.” To dispel the myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of women, the American Heart Association createdGo Red For Women – a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health.

We offer some basic heart-healthy nutritional guidelines for women from the AHA, but we also recommend you check out the site for your age group and for other guidelines to keeping your heart strong.

Nutrition Guidelines

  • Choose foods low in saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Eat plenty and a variety of fruits or vegetables (aim for at least 2 ½ Cups of each, every day)
  • Choose lean meat, fish* or skinless chicken. Oily Fish is a recommended choice because it is high in Omega 3 fatty acids (salmon, trout, herring). Aim to eat a 3.5 ounce serving of fish twice a week.
  • Choose fiber-rich, whole grains (at least 3 1oz. servings a day)
  • Stay away from added sugars (No more than 36 oz.(450 calories) of sugar-sweetened beverages a week). The calories from sweetened drinks add up fast!
  • Cut down on the amount of sodium you eat (No more than 1500 mg a day).
  • Make sure you are getting enough calcium. It’s good for your bones and cuts your risk for developing osteoporosis later in life.

In honor of Go Red for Women, crunchtime offers some of our favorite heart healthy foods.

We love ,with all our heart, a healthy salad that provides a bit of lean protein within a mound of vegetables as is the case with ourheart-healthy steak salad. Cod Basquaise isanother crunchtime favorite because it makes the rather plain, but omega-3 loaded fish, into a special meal among intensely seasoned vegetables. The Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad offers a unique variety in fruits and vegetables that help you get the best range of nutrients from your foods and it’s topped with the hardest-working nut – the walnut. Finally, no heart-healthy regimen is complete without fiber and beans go the extra mile in delivering a good measure of fiber along with the feeling of fullness to help your eat less; so we offer ourSunday Beans to round out the foods.

Stay healthy and Go Red for Women!

dr. april on television

As part of the Go Red for Women campaign, Dr. April was featured on King 5 News in Seattle. She offered great advice to women for living a heart-healthy life. Note, the first image is not of Dr. April. She is interviewed throughout the piece so stick it out for all of her advice.

Dr. April on King 5 News


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