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June is International Men’s Health Month.

“Recognizing and preventing men’s health problems is not just a man’s issue. Because of its impact on wives, mothers, daughters, and sisters, men’s health is truly a family issue.” — Congressman Bill Richardson (May 1994)

In response to this month’s campaign, we would like to raise awareness specifically on Men’s Heart Health.   There are three major health risks that men should consider.

  • A greater risk of heart attack, and experiencing heart attacks earlier in life. Far more men than women are smokers — and they lack the estrogen that helps protect women from heart attacks at a younger age.
  • Men develop cardiovascular disease seven to 10 years earlier than women do. That can put men at elevated risk for related issues as much as one decade before their female counterparts of the same age.
  • Men typically have higher blood pressure than women. High blood pressure forces the heart to work harder, raising the likelihood of cardiovascular disease over time.

For these reasons, good lifestyle habits and regular visits to your doctor are key to living a longer an healthier life.

Good lifestyle habits for men include:

  • Exercise at least thirty minutes a week
  • Eat a heart-healthy diet
  • Stop Smoking or Don’t Start
  • Schedule regular exams with your doctor

Heart-healthy Diet

Even though you know that eating certain foods can increase your heart disease risk, changing your eating habits is not always easy to do. Below are some heart-healthy diet tips that men (an women). Once you know which foods to eat more of and which foods to limit, you can take steps to practice a heart-healthy diet.

  1. Control portion sizes.  You can do this by using a smaller plate or bowl to help you control portions.
  2. Eat lower-calorie foods rich in nutrients, such as fruits and vegetables.
  3. Eat smaller amounts of high-sodium and high-calorie foods such as processed and fast foods.
  4. Limit unhealthy fats.  Avoid trans fats.
  5. Eat protein from low-fat sources.  This includes low-fat dairy products, eggs, fish, poultry and lean ground meats
  6. Reduce you sodium (salt) intake.
  7. Plan out meals
  8. Allow yourself an occasional treat.