Each year, February is dedicated to raising awareness about cardiovascular diseases like strokes, congestive heart failure, and coronary artery disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America for both men and women. The good news is that, in many cases, it can be prevented through lifestyle changes. The American Heart Association estimates that 80 percent of deaths related to cardiovascular disease can be prevented with education and action to reduce risk factors. 1
Eating healthy is one the most important changes you can make to reduce your risk of developing heart disease. At Project Angel Heart, more than 30 percent of our clients are living with cardiovascular disease- so we understand how essential a healthy diet is to a healthy heart! We make meals for these individuals that are low in saturated fat and sodium and rich in vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains.
What other risk factors besides diet can you control?
- If you smoke, do your best to quit. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease two-four times
- Be active! People who don’t exercise are 50% more likely to develop heart disease.
- If you drink alcohol, do so moderately. People who drink heavily are two times more likely to have a fatal heart attack. Heavy drinking is defined as more than one drink per day for women and more than two drinks per day for men. 2
Meghan Perkins is Project Angel Heart’s registered dietitian. After a semester studying baking and pastry arts at culinary school, Meghan quickly found her passion for clinical nutrition and transferred to the University of Northern Colorado to earn her bachelor’s degree in dietetics. Meghan has worked in clinical and private practice settings, educating patients about how their food choices impact their health with an emphasis on CKD, diabetes, heart disease, celiac disease, and weight management. In her free time, Meghan enjoys exploring Denver by bike with her husband, trying new coffee and tea shops, hiking in Crested Butte, and relaxing with her dog Barney.