Heart Health

14 February 2008

Today is Dress Red Day

The proof is out there: heart disease kills 1 in 4 women and 1 in 3 men. But apart from changing your lifestyle to reduce your risk, you can also help others this Valentine's Day.

The proof is out there: one in four women and one in three men die as a result of heart disease. But apart from changing your lifestyle, and thus reducing your risk, you can also help others this Valentine's Day.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa (HSFSA) invites you to purchase a R5 Dress Red sticker from any Mr Price, Miladys or Sheet Street store in support of their Children's Programme. While this programme has already had a positive impact on more than 1.7 million children, your donation will contribute to changing the lives of even more.

Also don't forget to look after your own heart this Valentine’s Day. Here are a few ideas that will guarantee a fun day:

Have a heart-healthy picnic
Fill your Valentine's Day picnic basket with delicious, heart-healthy items.

“The ideal heart-healthy picnic basket could contain whole-wheat bread, smoked salmon, as it is rich in omega-3 fats, and basil-mayo potato salad, or grilled chicken, lettuce, tomato, onion and mustard mayo in a whole-wheat pita," says Zulfa Abrahams from HSFSA. "Include a few whole-wheat snack biscuits with avocado and low-fat or fat-free cottage cheese. Strawberries are a classic for Valentine’s Day, accompanied by watermelon and sweet melon."

After the meal, you and your partner can go for a dip in the ocean and burn a few kilojoules.

Choose the Heart Mark
The HSFSA has joined forces with some restaurants to provide healthy food options when dining out. If you're going to have a romantic meal at a restaurant for Valentine’s Day, make the smart choice and dine at any of the restaurants that display the Heart Mark Restaurant Programme logo. These include Spur Steak Ranches, John Dory’s, Panarottis, Mochacho’s, Col’ Cacchio, Osumo, Morituri Pizzeria, Balducci Restaurant and Sushi Bar, and St Elmo's.

Prepare a healthy, home-cooked meal
Prepare a home-cooked meal as a treat for your partner – just make sure you use healthy cooking methods.

"Instead of frying, rather grill, steam or bake in the oven. Also avoid adding extra kilojoules such as butter or cream as these are very high in saturated fats. Rather try to make a healthier sauce,” says Erika Ketterer, registered dietician from HSFSA.

A meal that could be prepared for Valentine’s Day includes a lightly curried mussel salad for a starter, followed by the main course of fish stir-fry with spring vegetables. For dessert, opt for an angel cake with strawberry sauce, followed by champagne ice.

Dance the night away
For a gift, surprise your loved one with a voucher for dance lessons. Dancing is a great form of exercise that greatly benefits the heart.

- (Heart and Stroke Foundation South Africa, February 2008)

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