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Diane Miller - New rules help reduce heart risks

    February is Heart Month. A recent article in the "Journal of the American College of Cardiology" gives some very specific recommendations about how we can reduce risk for diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
    The typical American diet increases blood sugar and blood fats quickly after a meal. This triggers changes in the blood vessels that can increase cardiovascular disease risk. Even if you do not have diabetes, the rapid blood sugar rise after meals when refined carbohydrates are consumed does damage. To combat this problem, we should consume:

Higher fiber foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, peas and nuts. These raise the blood glucose less and have what is called a lower glycemic index.

Lean protein at every meal like egg whites, skinless poultry, fish, game meat and non-fat dairy foods. *Protein will make you feel less hungry between meals.

Berries, dark chocolate, red wine, tea and pomegranates since these reduce inflammation in the body and are rich in anti oxidants.

One close-fisted handful of nuts at least five days a week. *Nuts can reduce risk for coronary artery disease and diabetes by 20-50 percent. They slow stomach emptying and can reduce the effect of refined carbohydrate on your blood sugar level. Mix them with vegetables, berries or other fruits.

A daily salad with lots of leafy greens and dressed with vinegar and oil. *Vinegar seems to keep blood glucose lower after meals and helps us feel fuller with less food.

Cinnamon since it slows stomach emptying and may keep blood glucose lower. It may really help with meals that contain more refined carbohydrate.

    Portion control is important even if you are choosing healthy food. Your waist size should measure less than half of your height in inches. In other words, if you are 66 inches tall, your waist should measure less than 33 inches.
    Also we need to be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day. You will see as you do more, your blood sugar and blood fats will be lower.
    For more information, contact Diane at (912) 871-0504 and ask about and join us for Walk Georgia that begins in March.

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