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Heart Health and Nutrition

Resources to help you prevent heart disease

Parkview Heart Institute is dedicated to providing you with the education and resources you need to lead a heart healthy lifestyle.

Are you aware of your risks for cardiovascular disease? Are you making healthy daily choices to lower your risk and follow a heart healthy lifestyle? According to the American Heart Association, over 80% of all cardiovascular disease can be prevented if one is aware of their risk factors and makes choices to lead a healthy lifestyle by being mindful of those risks. Risk factors identified by the American Heart Association are:

Major risk factors that can be changed:

  • Cigarette smoking
  • Blood cholesterol levels
  • Blood pressure
  • Physical inactivity
  • Obesity and excess weight
  • Diabetes mellitus

Other factors that you can't control that contribute to your risk of heart disease: 

  • Increasing age
  • Being male
  • Heredity, including race

To keep your risk factors in healthy ranges, be sure to:

  • Get your blood pressure checked regularly and keep pressure below 120/80 mm Hg
  • Don’t smoke cigarettes or use any other tobacco products 
  • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week
  • Maintain a healthy weight by keeping your Body Mass Index less than 25
  • Eat a nutritious diet that follows the American Heart Association recommendations
  • Keep cholesterol levels in normal ranges (Total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol and Triglycerides)
  • Keep fasting blood glucose less than 100 mg/dL

To learn how your specific risk factors stack up, go to the American Heart Association website at and take the Heart Attack Risk Calculator assessment to determine your risks for heart attack or heart disease. 

Keep the beat going strong! Learn your risks today and take action to follow a heart healthy lifestyle!

Cardiovascular Health and Wellness Clinic

Parkview Heart Institute's Cardiovascular Health and Wellness Clinic is here to identify and help you modify risk factors that could lead to heart disease.

Learn more


Get active

Parkview Physicians Group - Cardiology is committed to educating and motivating our patients and community to pursue an active lifestyle. Just 30 minutes of activity every day can make a real difference in your health. These resources will assist you in finding great area locations for walking or active movement.

Eat healthy

Nutrition affects many factors associated with cardiovascular disease, including (but not limited to) body weight, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Improving your diet is an important component in the prevention or progression of heart disease.

This means eating mostly vegetables, fruit, beans, nuts and whole grains. Limit red meat to a few times each month. Limit saturated fat, trans fats, sodium and sugar.

General nutrition recommendations for heart healthy eating
  • Achieve and maintain your ideal body weight by limiting foods high in calories and low in nutrient density (sugars, soft drinks, candy).
  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
  • Choose a variety of colors of these foods to reap different antioxidant and nutrient benefits.
  • Choose a variety of legumes, nuts, soy products, low fat or fat free dairy products, and whole grain breads, cereals, pastas and rice.
  • Choose oils, margarines and food products high in monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, low in saturated fats and trans fat free, such as canola oil, soybean and soybean oil, flaxseed, and walnuts.
  • Eat baked, broiled or grilled fish as least twice per week, especially fish high in omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, mackerel, herring, lake trout, sardines or albacore tuna).
  • Limit or avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats, such as red meat, high fat dairy products, and bakery items.
  • If you consume alcohol, limit to 2 drinks per day for a man or 1 drink per day for a woman.
  • Limit your sodium consumption. Consume less than 2,300 mg sodium per day.
  • Be physically active by enjoying at least 30 minutes of activity on most (or all) days of the week.
Limit alcohol intake

Heavy drinking can damage the heart muscle and worsen other risk factors for those with congenital heart defects.

Getting help from Parkview Behavioral Health is easy. For a free initial screening, call the HelpLine at 260- 373-7500 or 800-282-8439 anytime. Someone is available 24 hours a day.

Cooking classes

The Parkview Center for Healthy Living and Community Greenhouse and Learning Kitchen also offer a variety of healthy cooking classes.

We have an in-house Nutrition Department at our main office, where our registered dietitian consults one-on-one with patients and their families on the benefits — and often the necessity — of adopting low fat, low cholesterol and low sodium diets as well as other healthy regimens. To schedule a one-hour consultation with a dietitian or ask a nutrition question, call 260-266-5730.

Stop smoking

You will cut your risk of a heart attack by fifty percent after one year as a non-smoker.

Call the Parkview Center for Healthy Living at 260-266-6500 to learn more about the many times and locations where Freedom from Smoking classes are offered.

Get treatment for sleep apnea

Untreated sleep apnea can increase your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, and even a heart attack or stroke.

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a sleep disorder, call Parkview Physicians Group – Sleep Medicine at 260-266-5260.

Practice stress management

Stress can cause your arteries to narrow. Narrow arteries lead to higher blood pressure and increased risk for a heart attack. Research shows that the most commonly reported “trigger” for a heart attack is an emotionally upsetting event, especially one involving anger.

The Parkview Center for Healthy Living offers stress management classes. Visit Parkview Center for Healthy Living to view current class schedules.

Know your numbers and family history

Know your cholesterol, blood sugar levels, blood pressure readings, as well as your family history of cardiovascular disease. Being aware of these key numbers and facts will assist you and your physician in tailoring a personal plan of prevention.

Check Up Days at the Center for Healthy Living are an excellent way to know your numbers.

See upcoming Check Up Days

Heart healthy websites
    American Heart Association (AHA) site is packed with heart information.
    AHA website is designed for assessing your personal heart score.            
    American College of Cardiology site gives patient education offerings.
    AHA website offers tailored heart messages focused for women.
    Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics offers helps for all dietary needs.
    Cooking Light offers healthy recipes with lower fat and sodium content.
    WomenHeart features valuable online tools and resources that can help women to live a heart healthy life. 
Learn CPR

No one ever knows when there may be a need to administer CPR to save a life…of a loved one, a child or anyone in need.  Learn CPR to be prepared in case of need.  CPR training is available in a variety of formats.  Explore the options below to learn what may serve you best!

  • American Heart Association:  Go to and search “Learn CPR”.  Options vary from Hands-Only CPR  (Watch a Video….Save a Life),  to Friends and Family CPR Anytime ( a kit with video and manikin that can be done in your home),  to finding a class nearby.  Call 877-AHA-4CPR  to learn more.
  • American Red Cross:  Go to and click on CPR: “Find a Course”
  • CPR Task Force of Fort Wayne and Allen County offers free “Hands only CPR” several times each year.  To learn more, visit or call 260-427-1164.
  • Interested in CPR classes for your employees? Contact Parkview Occupational Health at (260) 373-9017, or click here for additional information.