"I got really dizzy at work one day and I was having trouble just even walking straight and I went to the doctor and they said my blood pressure was very high," Hardy said.
In addition to controlling her blood pressure with medicine, Hardy changed her diet. Portion control was one of her weaknesses, but now her meals consist of raw vegetables and protein.
"Just cutting back on how much I eat, plus I guess probably more importantly is what I'm eating now," Hardy said.
Registered dietitian Kristen Sousek says your diet plays an important role in keeping your heart healthy.
"We can get those numbers down. I've had people stay off medications," Sousek said.
Sousek says avoiding packaged and processed foods makes all the difference.
"They contain a lot of sodium, can have a lot of hidden unhealthy fats. We want to make sure that we're getting a lot of fruits and vegetables in," Sousek said.
And while the high fat content in foods like avocado or nuts can be confusing, Sousek says those healthy fats can actually help lower your cholesterol.
Following My Plate recommendations is a good rule of thumb when it comes to keeping your heart healthy.
"A lot of delicious foods that you can incorporate into your meal plans. So, it's not a daunting task to eat heart healthy," Sousek said.
You can even enjoy chocolate, just as long as it's dark.
And when it comes to your morning cup of joe or even a glass of red wine... it's all about moderation.
"So one glass of wine is really what we're looking for. If you finish off the bottle then we're going on the opposite end," Sousek sais.
With these changes you may be able to avoid heart disease
For more my information on my plate recommendations, click here.
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Wellness & Nutrition
It's not always easy choosing broccoli over a donut, but after a scary moment, Brenda Hardy knew it was time to make a change.