Eat Smart Month: Experts Say Four Simple Steps to Healthy Heart

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Mark Kilborn has become a big fan of fruits and vegetables, a drastic difference from his eating habits six years ago.

“I have unfortunately a real bad sweet tooth so I would just consume anything and I was a meat and potatoes guy too…just meat potatoes and cheese, meat potatoes and cheese…lot of salts. So I’ve definitely had to change by diet dramatically”, said Kilborn.

In 2011, Kilborn returned to Mobile after an intense hiking trip with his sons and discovered he needed open heart surgery, five bypasses.

When it comes to maintaining a healthy heart, experts stress four simple steps, low fats, low sodium, physical activity, and portion control. The biggest challenge Americans face out of all of those is portion control.

“Don’t overeat just don’t overeat..and add fruits and vegetables. That would be the biggest thing because there isn’t one food that I would tell them to avoid. There isn’t one food they should eat that will all of a sudden make them healthy and be heart healthy”, said Springhill Medical Clinical Nutrition Manager Leslie Phillips.

On average, dieticians say meat portions should be the size of a deck of cards or a lady’s palm. Phillips says you can pile veggies as long as you don’t add butter or cheese.

As for Kilborn, these days he eats less, moves more, and volunteers with The American Heart Association.

“Get up and move folks. Watch what you eat and get up and move..because sitting in a chair watching television is the worst thing that can happen to you..and certainly watch what you eat today because it will come back and haunt you tomorrow”, said Kilborn.

Kilborn said he used to be hooked on Little Debbie Snack Cakes. Giving them up is a life style adjustment but there are healthy alternatives. For a list of heart healthy recipes click here. 

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