The American Heart Association's program “Healthy for Good” says eat smart, add color, more more, and be well.

“Healthy for good” tips

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As we wrap up Heart Month I would like to remind you that the American Heart Association website provides a wealth of information about heart disease prevention, and just generally tips for living well: They have launched a new program called “Healthy for Good.” It’s a reminder that we want to make good choices for our health most of the time, and not jump from one fad diet to another. It is a lifetime commitment to being well.

Here are the four basic components to “Healthy for Good.”

Eat Smart

  • Build a healthy plate that features produce, legumes, lean protein, whole-grains and healthy oils.
  • Healthy substitutions can reduce saturated fat (skim milk for whole milk, for ex.) or bump up the fiber (have Cheerios or oatmeal for cornflakes).
  • Modest portions for weight management.

Add Color

  • Enjoy colorful produce: red tomatoes and raspberries; orange carrots and sweet potatoes; green spinach and broccoli; purple beets and plums; blue blueberries. Prep with little to no salt or sugar.
  • Eat seasonal produce to save money.

Move More

  • Make it family-oriented when you begin to ramp up the activity- biking or hiking, family basketball, etc.
  • Wear the appropriate clothing and footwear to make exercise more comfortable.
  • Start by walking short distances if you are not a regular exerciser.

Be Well

  • Make time for meditation or mindfulness to help relieve daily stressors.
  • Make time for adequate sleep to rest your body and mind.

Overall self-care is so important, even if you are responsible for the care of others like children or aging parents. You can give good care to others if you are well and well-taken care of. There are some terrific resources through the American Heart Association: From heart health information to the latest heart research to recipes to tips for raising healthy children, you will find practical ideas that will keep you and your family in tip-top shape. 

Recipes to try:


About the Author

Rita Smith is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator. She's been working in the field of nutrition and disease prevention for more than 35 years and currently works at Sentara Martha Jefferson Hospital in Charlottesville, Va. Each week, Rita provides nutrition counseling to clients who have a variety of disorders or diseases including high cholesterol, high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, gastroparesis and weight management. For these clients, food choices can help them manage their health problems.