This article was originally published in 2018 but was updated in February 2021 to reflect the most recent heart disease statistics and research.
Chances are you know someone who has been affected by heart disease. February is American Heart Month, and it’s an ideal time to encourage friends and loved ones to make heart health a priority.
Every year, one in four deaths are caused by heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women. The American Heart Association’s 2018 heart disease reports these startling statistics:
Heart disease risk factors
Nearly half of all Americans have at least one risk factor for heart disease, such as high blood pressure, obesity, physical inactivity or an unhealthy diet. Risk also increases with age. Over the past several decades, we have learned much about factors that contribute to heart disease, how to monitor those triggers and ways to treat and prevent them.
Living healthy means making healthy choices
While you can’t change things like age or genetics, the good news is that making healthy diet and lifestyle changes can improve heart health. According to the American Heart Association, even modest changes can reduce risk of heart disease and stroke. Research shows that refraining from tobacco use, lowering blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight, eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can lead to living longer and better lives.
Making healthy choices easier
HealthyYOU Vending is dedicated to raising awareness about heart disease and reducing the number of Americans who suffer from heart disease every year, by providing convenient access to healthier snacks, meals and drinks at work and on the go. Look for these heart-healthy options in your local HealthyYOU Vending machine:
This superfood is packed with both soluble and insoluble fiber. That means it can help lower cholesterol and stabilize blood glucose levels, while improving intestinal health.
HealthyYOU Vending recommends: Dr. McDougall’s Right Foods single-serve oatmeal
Berries are some of the healthiest foods you can eat: low in calories and high in fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Fresh or even dried single-serve options such as Goji berries are a true powerhouse, containing protein, 20 vitamins and minerals, more antioxidants than oranges and more iron than spinach.
HealthyYOU Vending recommends: Navitas Organics Dried Goji Berries
• Dark chocolate
Studies show that daily consumption of dark chocolate may benefit the heart by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, and having a beneficial effect on cholesterol. The findings apply to chocolate containing at least 60-70% cocoa – so choose antioxidant-rich dark chocolate over sugar-laden candy for best health benefits.
HealthyYOU Vending recommends: 70% or higher dark chocolate bar
Good for your heart and for your taste buds, almonds, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts and macadamia nuts contain fiber and vitamin E, which helps lower bad cholesterol.
HealthyYOU Vending recommends: Wonderful Almonds
• Coconut chips
Coconut is rich in antioxidants such as flavonoids and polyphenols, which have many potential heart-health benefits. It also contains healthy fats and fiber.
Recommended healthy vending snack: Dang Coconut Chips
American Heart Month is a great time to join HealthyYOU Vending in the fight against heart disease. Get a no-cost healthy vending machine, stocked with heart-healthy snack and meal options, at your location today.