Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Every 34 seconds a person in the United States dies from heart disease. More than 2,500 Americans die from heart disease each day. Every 20 seconds, a person in the United States has a heart attack. At least 250,000 people die of heart attacks each year before they reach a hospital.
February is American Heart Month and Quaker would be pleased to know that amongst the dozens of healthy heart tips that this nutrition student has acquired, oats have been in[grain]ed in my brain as the best “food as thy medicine” when pondering sustenance for achieving cardiovascular health. The American Heart Association recommends that individuals eat foods that are low in cholesterol, sodium, saturated fat and stay physically active for at least 150 minutes per week of moderate exercise, 75 minutes per week of vigorous exercise, or a combination of both. The 1996, Surgeon General’s Report further supports the idea by redefining physical activity as a key component to health promotion and disease prevention. It is difficult to overlook the “Smart for your Heart” health claims that grace nearly every canister of oats in the aisle and ignore widely accepted beliefs regarding fitness and how daily activity/exercise can decrease one’s risk in contracting heart disease and reduce heart-related mortality. So more specifically, when asked to picture “heart health” I visualize an athlete wearing grey sweat-stained microfiber, effortlessly enjoying a bit of steady cardio, listening to Eye of the Tiger, with a determined look on their face, after fueling up with…you guessed it…oatmeal. You get the idea.