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How good nutrition better protects your heart | Health Beat with Brea Love

February 4 is National Wear Red Day, which honors lives lost to heart disease and raise awareness for the leading cause of death in the U.S.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — National Wear Red Day was launched in 2002 to raise awareness for the leading cause of death in the United States — especially for women.

This year, the day lands on on Feb. 4. Sutter Medical Group Cardiologist Dr. Neelima Vallurupalli said good nutrition is an important way to keep your heart healthy. She also said 80% to 90% of heart disease is preventable. 

Unhealthy eating habits lead to high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and obesity, all of which can cause heart disease.

Here are a few suggestions Dr. Vallurupalli has to start making changes:

  • Portion control
  • Low sodium foods
  • Avoiding sugary drinks
  • Rewarding yourself with a cheat meal every once is a while

"Start that early, those lifestyle changes and good eating habits and then most importantly, home cooked meals are better than processed food and restaurant takeout," Vallurupalli said. "I know everybody is busy. However, home cooked meals do not have to be very extensive or need extensive preparation. Then preparing the meals ahead also avoids, you know going for fast food, drive throughs and picking unhealthy options."

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