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This blog post is sponsored by the delicious Honey Nut Cheerios but as always, all opinions are my own.
As adults, when we think of our health, we often take our hearts for granted. We know it is there and what it is for, but usually, the concern stops there. But the reality of the situation is that our hearts require “upkeep” just like other components of our well-being.
Did You Know: One in five deaths in 2020 was due to heart disease1,2?
FACTS ABOUT HEART HEALTH
Let’s start with the things you need to know about your heart and its health.
- Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. It is the leading cause of death for men, women, and most racial and ethnic groups in this country.1
- Sometimes heart disease can be silent. That means outwardly signs of heart disease can be few and far between. It isn’t limited to just older people. In 2020, about 2 in 10 deaths from coronary heart disease – the most common form of heart disease – happened in adults less than 65 years old.2
HEART DISEASE AND BLACK WOMEN
As a Black woman raising young Black daughters, I’d be remiss not to hone in on how heart disease effects Black women in particular. Cardiovascular diseases kill nearly 50,000 Black women every single year.3 And, sadly, only 36% of Black women know that heart disease is their greatest health risk.3
And not just older Black women. Forty-nine percent (49%) of Black women 20 years of age and older have some form of heart disease.3 One of the leading risk factors for heart disease is high blood pressure.1 And, unfortunately, more than 40% of non-Hispanic Blacks (both men and women) have high blood pressure, which is higher than seen than our white counterparts
When you combine all of this with statistically low knowledge of heart disease among Black women, you can understand why I wrote this post.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CHANCES
OK, so now that we know the facts, what can we do to help our chances of having a healthy heart?
To lower your chances of getting heart disease, it’s important to do the following:4
- Know your blood pressure. Having uncontrolled blood pressure can lead to heart disease. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so it’s important to have your blood pressure checked regularly.
- Talk to your doctor or health care team about whether you should be tested for diabetes. Having uncontrolled diabetes raises your risk of heart disease.5
- Quit smoking. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, learn ways to quit.
- Discuss checking your blood cholesterol and triglycerides with your doctor.
- Make healthy food choices. Being overweight or obese raises your risk of heart disease.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink to one drink a day.
- Manage stress levels by finding healthy ways to cope with stress.
EATING A HEART HEALTHY DIET
Eating heart healthy doesn’t have to be bland! Delicious foods like Honey Nut Cheerios can help lower cholesterol (in adults) as part of a heart healthy diet. Honey Nut Cheerios cereal provides .75 grams of soluble fiber per serving and three grams of soluble fiber daily from whole grain foods as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease in adults.
So, grab a bowl of Honey Nut Cheerios as part of your heart health journey.
So now that you know a bit more about heart disease, what steps are you taking to protect your heart health?
- National High Blood Pressure Education Program. The Seventh Report of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure pdf icon[PDF – 223K]external icon. Bethesda, MD: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; 2003.
- Vasan RS, Beiser A, Seshadri S, Larson MG, Kannel WB, D’ Agostino RB, et al. Residual lifetime risk for developing hypertension in middle-aged women and men: the Framingham Heart Studyexternal icon. JAMA. 2002;287(8):1003–1010.
- HHS, OWH. Heart disease prevention. 2015. Accessed October 2, 2018.
- HHS, OWH. Diabetes. Accessed October 2, 2018.