Eat Right to Stay Young at Heart

Is it true that you are what you eat? When it comes to heart health, the answer is a resounding “Yes!" Eating the right way isn’t about dieting, which implies a temporary change in your eating habits; it’s about making better choices every day so that they become second nature. Here are some tips to help you eat your way to a healthier heart.

Ditch the “Bad” Fats

Did you know that the biggest influence on your blood cholesterol level is the mix of fats in your diet, not the amount of cholesterol in your food? Although it’s still important to limit dietary cholesterol, especially if you’re diabetic, doctors say the amount of trans fats and saturated fats matter most. Saturated fats – found in red meat, whole milk dairy products like butter and cream, egg yolks, and oils such as coconut and palm kernel – raise your total cholesterol. Trans fats – found in margarine and most packaged cookies, crackers and cakes – are particularly bad because they raise your levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL) while lowering levels of the “good” kind (HDL). Plus, trans fats also cause your liver to produce more cholesterol. \r\nThe key to a healthy diet is choosing good fats instead of bad ones. That’s why the American Heart Association recommends that you get less than 7% of your daily calories from saturated fats and less than 1% from trans fats.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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