Learn how to be heart healthy at the Troy library

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published May 8, 2019

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TROY — Did you know that eating heart healthy does not mean low- or no-fat?

Registered dietician Liz Kennard, a health promotion specialist with Bwell Employment Wellness at Beaumont Health, explained in an email that fats are crucial to a healthy diet.

“We just need to be sure we are getting in the right types of fats,” Kennard said. “Good, heart-healthy fats include things like nuts, seeds, avocados, olive oil and omega-3 rich foods, like salmon and walnuts.”

The Heart Healthy Eating program will take place at 7 p.m. May 13 at the Troy Public Library.

Kennard said the easiest thing you can do to eat heart smart is to incorporate more good, heart-healthy fats, so “we don’t leave room for the ones that drive heart disease. It’s much easier to think about adding the good things into our diet than focusing so much on the things we shouldn’t be eating. And who doesn’t love to eat fat?”

She said the biggest misconception is that healthy food doesn’t taste good.

“There are so many ways to enhance the flavor of any dish that are heart smart and great tasting,” she said. “Things like adding spices, herbs, fresh lemon or lime, and of course, adding in some good fats can boost the flavor without sacrificing the nutritional benefits.”

Physical activity is part of the equation. Krista Bobo, the Bwell manager of employee wellness at Beaumont Health, said the best way to stay active is to do something you enjoy.

“Movement/activity should be joyful and something that you desire to do; it is my belief that if we really enjoy our activity, we will derive more benefits from it because we are more mentally invested, are more apt to do it regularly and even longer than planned at times, etc.,” she said in an email. “If you enjoy walking in nature, this is the best way to stay active. If you enjoy jumping on trampolines with your kids or grandkids, this is the best way to stay active. The key is to identify what you enjoy and why you enjoy it and aim to make it a regular part of your daily or weekly schedule.”

Bobo said that if you have not been active and are looking to start, it is always best to speak with your physician before you start any exercise program.

“Your doctor will do a thorough exam to ensure it’s safe for you to start exercising,” she said. “(Another) safety measure you can take is to talk to an exercise specialist, who is trained to assess your current activity level and support you in getting started as well as progressing safely with exercise.”

She noted that people can complete a Physical Activity Readiness questionnaire, free on the internet, to understand if they are ready to safely begin exercising.

“The most benefits and biggest bang for your buck are going to be derived from movement that you enjoy,” she explained. “You work more efficiently, longer, and obtain mental as well as physical benefits when you are fully engaged in your activity. I would suggest you aim to include diversity within your exercise plan so that you’re including a nice mix of cardio, strength training and stretching if possible. If classes encourage you to stay motivated, take a class such as Zumba or yoga. If you like to be outside, incorporate a brisk walk or jog into your plan. The true answer will be individual for each person based on their health, physical capabilities, likes and ultimate exercise goals.”

An informational book used at Beaumont, “Eat Right for Life,” will be raffled off at the seminar.

Call (248) 524-3534 or visit troypl.org to register for the program.