Lose Weight for a Healthier Heart


Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of obese Americans continues to rise. In fact, 30 percent of adults over age 20-more than 60 million people are obese, which means they are 30 pounds overweight and have a BMI, or body mass index (a measure of body fat), of more than 30.

Obesity Is On The Rise

Obesity has reached epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of obese Americans continues to rise. In fact, 30 percent of adults over age 20-more than 60 million people-are obese, which means they are 30 pounds overweight and have a BMI, or body mass index (a mea-sure of body fat), of more than 30.

What’s more, obesity is a risk factor for heart disease and other serious health complications:

  • Obesity is a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Having these disorders at the same time is a condition called metabolic syndrome, which can lead to an increased risk for heart disease and kidney disease.
  • High blood pressure, a risk factor for heart disease, is twice as common in obese adults than in those who are at a healthy weight.
  • Obesity can also lead to arthritis, which is caused by stress on your joints.

A Likely Trigger For Heart Disease

Obesity, high cholesterol and high blood pressure are a common grouping of risk factors for people with heart disease. Managing all these risk factors will help reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What You Can Do Today

Overweight and obesity together represent the number-two preventable cause of death in the U.S. after smoking. There are many things you can do to get your weight under control and to help manage your risk for heart disease:

Foods to Eat: 

  • Eat: Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, potatoes, whole grains, breads, herbs, spices, fish, seafood and extra virgin olive oil.

  • Eat in moderation: Poultry, eggs, cheese and yogurt.

  • Eat only rarely: Red meat.

  • Don’t eat: Sugar-sweetened beverages, added sugars, processed meat, refined grains, refined oils and other highly processed foods.

Avoid These Unhealthy Foods

  • Added sugar: Soda, candies, ice cream, table sugar and many others.

  • Refined grains: White bread, pasta made with refined wheat, etc.

  • Trans fats: Found in margarine and various processed foods.

  • Refined oils: Soybean oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil and others.

  • Processed meat: Processed sausages, hot dogs, etc.

  • Highly processed foods: Anything labeled “low-fat” or “diet” or which looks like it was made in a factory.