Heart Matters

The heart month is here again and everybody is just ready to spread love, love, love! But have you thought about your heart’s health lately? Matters of the heart, especially its health, shouldn’t be put aside and must be given proper attention too. How else could we show our love if our hearts are not in good shape?


Did you know that heart disease has been consistently the number one cause of death for several years now here in the Philippines?1 Amazingly, this condition is preventable through proper lifestyle and heart-healthy diet! Only a few risk factors such as age, gender, family history, can’t be controlled.2 However, despite these uncontrollable risk, lifestyle and food choices have bigger impact on our heart’s health.



Lifestyle Choices – a healthy lifestyle can lower the risk for heart disease and may prevent current heart disease from worsening.

  • Spend at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity endurance activity on most days of the week. The goal is to have an energy expenditure of at least 2000 calories weekly.
  • Exposure to any form of tobacco smoke should be minimized.
  • Weight reduction may improve other heart disease risk factors. The general goal is to prevent excessive weight gain. Reduce weight if necessary, and maintain the ideal body weight over the long term.
  • A healthy weight loss/weight gain is 1-2 pounds per week.


Heart-healthy Diet – to lower your risk of heart disease, you may follow these guidelines:

  • Limit saturated fat to less than 7% of total calories and cholesterol to less than 200 milligrams a day. Maintaining a fat intake that is 25-35% of total calories may help with this goal. Consult with a Registered Nutritionist-Dietician for more specific details.
  • Avoid food products that contains trans-fat. You can check this out with the labels and ingredients list. If you see “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” on the list, there’s your red flag.
  • Lessen intake of fats coming from animal sources (e.g lard, butter, bacon) and choose fats from plant sources (e.g. avocado, olive oil, canola oil) instead.
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be limited to one drink per day only for women and two drinks per day for men.
  • To reduce blood pressure, choose a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk products, nuts, and whole grains. Plus, limit your intake of salty foods (not more than 2 tsp of salt per day)
  • Replace saturated fats with carbohydrates from whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables or with unsaturated fats from fish, vegetable oils, and nuts.
  • Choose foods high in soluble fiber such as oats, barley, beans, and fruit. Soluble fiber helps lower your bad cholesterol



Gardenia offers a wide variety of breads that everyone can enjoy. Not only does it smell and taste good, it is also super-packed with nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber! Among all Gardenia breads, Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf contains the highest amount of fiber, providing you with 29% of your daily fiber requirement in just one slice.  It is high in soluble fiber which helps in lowering bad cholesterol and total cholesterol therefore reducing the risk of heart disease. To further enjoy this deliciously healthy bread, you may try this refreshing recipe: Gardenia Ray’s in the City Smoothie.



Gardenia Ray’s in the City Smoothie

(Calories: 471kcal Carbohydrates: 86g Protein: 16g Fat: 7g Dietary Fiber: 20g)



2 slices Gardenia High Fiber Wheat Raisin Loaf

2 ripe medium bananas

1 pack of Graham crackers

1 cup soy milk

2 tbsp brown sugar, packed

1 tsp cinnamon (to taste)

½ tsp vanilla extract



  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth and creamy.
  2. Garnish with Graham cracker crumbs, or sprinkle of cinnamon.
  3. Serve chilled.

So give yourself this hearty healthy, heart-healthy treat this Valentine season! With careful planning and conscious efforts, coupled with discipline, you are on your way to an improved heart health. Remember, heart matters matter. Eat healthy and spread the love!




1http:// http://www.doh.gov.ph/mortality accessed Jan 25, 2018

2http://www.eatright.org/resource/health/wellness/heart-and-cardiovascular-health/heart-health-and-diet accessed Jan 25, 2018