Did you know that cardiovascular disease impacts an estimated 44 million women in the U.S.? Additionally, 90 percent of females have more than one risk factor for developing heart disease. In honor of National Heart Month, Ideal Image and Syneron Candela – the manufacturer of our laser hair removal machines – have joined forces with the American Heart Association to raise awareness of heart disease in all 130 Ideal Image locations.
Ideal Image, The Advanced MedSpa, is also encouraging employees to make better dietary choices by promoting a healthy food culture in the workplace, and we hope you consider these tips too. When grabbing a beverage out of the vending machine, go for water, skim milk or 100 percent fruit juice. As for snacks foods, stick to options under 200 calories with no more than 240 milligrams of sodium and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat.
This month – and beyond – stick to the following options that make the perfect heart-healthy snacks on the go:
Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts are simple and nutritious choices when you’re busy. According to the AHA, nuts are loaded with protein, fiber and healthy fats, which can help to lower your low-density lipoprotein, also known as bad cholesterol. When choosing nuts as your go-to snack, just remember: They’re high in calories, so limiting yourself to a serving of 1.5 ounces at a time is key. Additionally, try not to mix nuts with chocolate, as the calories, sugar and fat can add up quickly.
Veggies and hummus
We all know vegetables make a healthy, wholesome addition to any meal, but not many are convinced that they can count as a snack. Add a little bit of hummus, however, and you have yourself a delicious treat. Slice up raw colored peppers, cucumber, broccoli, carrots and celery – a variety keeps things interesting – and dip them in two tablespoons of your favorite hummus. Not only does this snack taste great, but it’s loaded with healthy fats, protein, vitamins and nutrients.
Fruit and yogurt
Nonfat plain Greek yogurt paired with your favorite fruit makes a delectable mid-morning or afternoon snack in the office. It’s rich in protein, calcium, fiber and an abundance of vitamins and nutrients, depending on the fruit of your choice. We recommend mixing your yogurt with fresh berries or pomegranate to reap the benefits and the delicious taste. Make things more interesting and add a handful of granola or slivered almonds for added crunch – just be careful; the calories can add up fast if you’re not paying attention to your portion sizes.
You’ve likely heard that dark chocolate makes a heart-healthy snack option, but why? According to the Cleveland Clinic, organic cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids, which have the power to protect cells from toxins and repair damage. The antioxidants are also beneficial, as they can help the body’s cells fight off free radical damage. While it’s true that dark chocolate is a great heart-healthy option, you need to keep portion sizes in mind here as well. Don’t eat a whole bar – rather, break yourself off a single piece of dark chocolate to enjoy with one of your other heart-healthy snacks.