#1 killer of Americans targeted by healthy eating

FALLS CHURCH, VA – (March 19, 2013) – March is National Nutrition Month. Eating right not only improves your overall health, it also reduces risk for heart disease – the leading cause of death for both men and women.  Nationally, 600,000 people die of heart disease annually—accounting for 1 in every 4 deaths. According to physicians, modifying our diet is a critical factor in avoiding heart disease.

“Of the seven major risk factors for developing heart disease, five of them are modifiable with good nutrition,” according to Dr. Dhaval R. Patel, Cardiologist at Inova Fair Oaks Hospital.  “Aside from smoking cessation and regular exercise, a healthy diet promotes weight loss, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and helps control blood sugar levels.”

Choosing healthy meal and snack options, such as plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, low sodium/low saturated fat and high fiber foods are a critical step in preventing high blood cholesterol. Alternatives to red and processed meats include fish, nuts, legumes and fiber-rich whole grains.

“Eating out and eating healthy are not mutually exclusive,” according to Dr. Patel.  “Take breakfast – order a glass of juice, whole grain bagel with low-fat cream cheese or a hot cereal such as oatmeal or grits. Add a side of fruit and you have a tasty, easy-to-prepare heart-healthy start to your day.”

For more tips on heart health and nutrition, contact Amy Richards at 703-391-3390 or amy.richards@inova.org.

#  #  #

About Inova

Inova is a not-for-profit healthcare system based in Northern Virginia that serves more than 2 million people each year from throughout the Washington, DC, metro area and beyond.  Inova is a comprehensive network of hospitals, outpatient services and facilities, primary and specialty care practices, and health and wellness initiatives.

Inova encompasses the full array of health services, including the area’s only Level 1 Trauma Center and Level IV neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). We are home to many nationally and internationally recognized programs, including Inova Heart and Vascular Institute (IHVI), Inova Translational Medicine Institute (ITMI), and the Inova Dwight and Martha Schar Cancer Institute.

Inova is a global leader in developing and applying personalized health. Connecting researchers, clinicians and empowered consumers, we integrate genomic research for patient care, prevention and wellness. Our personalized health approach enables individuals to live longer, healthier lives.

More information and statistics about Inova is at www.inova.org.