The heart is the most important muscle in your body.  It pumps blood and oxygen to all your organs through the coronary arteries.  So, taking care of your heart should be a priority.  When the heart does not get the care it needs, it could suffer.  Therefore, heart disease can become a serious problem.  

Heart disease does not discriminate, it can attach anyone and at any time.  Knowing the risk factors early on might help to prevent heart disease.  Although, some factors like family history can make certain people prone to heart disease.       

Heart disease risk factors

  • Being overweight or obese.
  • Having bad eating habits.
  • Using tobacco products, smoking, and even secondhand smoke.
  • Diagnosed with high blood pressure or high cholesterol.

Choosing a healthier lifestyle can lower your risk of heart disease.  It could also prevent other serious chronic conditions such as type 2 diabetes and some cancer.  Talk to your family and heart doctor to understand better your medical history.  Having all the facts can help you to make wiser decisions to promote good heart health.  You are never too old or too young to begin making healthier choices that will benefit your overall health.                   

  • Eat healthier foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein and whole grains.
  • Stay physically active.
  • Learn to manage stress. 
  • Maintain a healthy weight. 
  • Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products. 
  • Regularly schedule checkups to monitor your health and/or pre-existing conditions you may have. 
  • Take prescribed medication as directed by your doctor.  

Following a healthier diet can have a big impact on your heart.  As the saying goes, “You are what you eat.”  Grilling is an easy lifestyle change you can make without sacrificing flavor.  The act of grilling simply makes food look and taste delicious.  Whether it is the marinades you use, grid lines that form on the food, or the fresh taste from cooking something on a pit, grilled food is worth the switch.  It is a healthier alternative to cooking food on the kitchen stove and in less time.  

Healthier foods you can grill

  • Vegetables – bell peppers, onions, eggplant, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini.
  • Fruits – pineapple, pear, apple, peaches, and mango.
  • Meats – lean meat, skinless chicken, and bison.
  • Seafood – salmon, cod, lake trout, mahi-mahi, and herring.

Grilling healthy foods does not need to be monotonous.  There are countless recipes you can find that offer fresh, healthier ingredients to use that will change your mind about eating better.  This will help you to form heart healthy eating habits.  Incorporating marinades and rubs in place of sauces, can ensure flavorful, juicy results without adding too much fat or calories. 

Helpful grilling tips

  • Choose the right protein.  Lean meats and fish have the good fats that benefit your heart.
  • Practice portion control.  A healthy portion is about the size of the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. 
  • Create marinades and rubs for flavor.  This allows you to select healthier ingredients to put on your poultry and lean meat. 
  • Choose fruits and vegetables to grill which add color to your meal.  It also helps you to steer clear of the usual unhealthy side dishes that would include sugars, fats, and salt. 
  • Do not drown your grilled food in sauces, dressings, or condiments.  Sometimes a simple squeeze of lemon or lime is all that is needed for your food to shine. 

When it comes to concerns of the heart, Dr. Corwin Thomas is a cardiologist who serves the Lafayette, LA area.  He has more than 15 years of experience and is board-certified in interventional cardiology, nuclear medicine, and internal medicine.  Dr. Thomas provides top notch quality care to all his patients and can help you too with any heart problems you may be experiencing.  You can visit the website to learn more about the services CT Cardio offers.  Or call the office directly at 337-234-3163 to speak to one of the highly skilled medical team.  A healthy heart is a healthier you!  


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