February is American Heart Month, which creates a great opportunity for restaurants to help spread the awareness about preventing heart disease. One important role that the restaurant industry plays in this awareness is to be able to promote heart healthy meal options to their customers. Many forms of heart disease can be prevented or managed with a healthy lifestyle – maintaining a healthy diet, staying active, regularly checking blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and taking the appropriate medications. As members of the restaurant industry, you are able to make it easier and more enjoyable for customers with heart disease by being able to make healthy, heart-friendly recommendations to your guests such as the following:
- Recommend lunch or smaller portion sizes (if available)
- Offer plates that are packed with fruits and vegetables
- Indicate items that use whole grains
- Make notes of low fat options
- Offer to reduce the amount of salt in a particular dish
You can also take it a step further and provide a Heart Healthy menu insert that makes the recommended items readily available. Each restaurant has their own dishes and specialties so, managers and chefs should sit down with their staff to go over the menu items, and discuss which ones would be best suited for individuals who have eating restrictions.
Heart disease includes an umbrella of different heart conditions including blood vessel disease, coronary artery disease, rhythm problems, and congenital heart defects. It is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the U.S. According to the CDC, there are 700,000+ heart attacks each year and one out of every four deaths are caused by heart disease – totaling over 600,000 deaths each year. The American Heart Association reports that these conditions cost the U.S. roughly $313 billion each year between healthcare costs, medications, and lost productivity.
We encourage you to help the American Heart Association take a stand against heart disease by promoting heart healthy meals in your restaurant!
Brought to you by HMAA, where we’re passionate about your health. To find out more about the HMAA health plan, visit hmaa.com or contact our Customer Service Department. For information on our menu of wellness services, please contact Naomi Azama at (808) 791 -7607 or firstname.lastname@example.org.