Healthy lifestyles start at dinner table

March is National Nutrition Month and a good time to start healthy eating habits.

Eating healthier can help reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases. It’s about making smart choices to build an overall healthy dietary pattern.

Ways you can start eating healthy:

•Reduce sodium in your diet. Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, which is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Learn more about how much sodium is too much and how you can cut back at heart.org/sodium.

•Reduce added sugar, especially in drinks. Too much sugar can lead to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, increasing the risk for heart disease. Cut back by replacing sugary drinks like soda and energy drinks with water, flavored water or unsweetened tea. Learn more about sugar and its effects at heart.org/rethinkyourdrink

•Add more color. Fruits and vegetables are vital to a healthy diet. Learn about how to add more fruits and vegetables to your favorite meals, and even how to sneak some in so your kids will eat them at heart.org/healthyforgood.

•Visit heart.org/EatSmart for tips on grocery shopping, cooking at home, dining out, healthy snacking, replacing sugary beverages, and more.

•Read and compare nutrition labels. Choose products with the lowest amounts of sodium, saturated fat and added sugars. Look for the Heart-Check Mark on foods as an easy way to identify healthier choices. Learn more at heartcheck.org.

•Check out healthy recipes at eart.org/recipes

Healthy For Good is the American Heart Association’s new movement to inspire all Americans to live healthier lives and create lasting change. It focuses on the simple idea that making small, incremental changes today can create a difference for generations to come.

The movement is built on four pillars:

1) Eat smart.

2) Add color.

3) Move more.

4) Be well.

This mantra breaks down the essential principles of true whole-body health — eating healthy, including adding more colorful fruits and veggies; being more physically active; and creating an overall healthy lifestyle including sleep, mindfulness, stress management, mental health, social connection, and more.

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