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Eat Smart for Your Heart

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It's a fact: If you eat right, exercise, watch your weight, and don't smoke, you can live a better life!

Kid eating salmon

Chef Nikki Shaw: Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm constantly in search of great food, fun, and adventure! Now that I'm getting (just a tiny bit) older, I've become more conscious about making better choices. Research shows that having healthy habits can reduce your risk of heart disease by 80 percent or more. This means that if you eat right, exercise, watch your weight, and don't smoke, you can live a better life!

Women that have a weekly moderate workout routine (power walking, jogging, aerobics) are strengthening their heart muscle. Heart-pumping exercises can prevent deadly plaque from accumulating inside the arteries, improve blood flow, and lower blood pressure.

Exercising is only half the battle. Stay conscious about your food choices. Cut back on eating processed foods. Focus on fresh high-fiber fruits and vegetables. Eat plenty of whole grains, beans, and nuts (almonds, pecans, and walnuts). Eat as little red meat as possible -- replace it with fresh fish and poultry.

"NIK TIP": Try to limit eating fried foods, commercially prepared baked goods, white bread, white pasta, white potatoes, white rice, and white sugar. Instead, eat 100% whole grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and use natural sweeteners like Agave nectar.

In this bitter economy, I'll show you how to make life sweet right at home.

next: 'Inglourious Basterds,' '30 Rock' Big Winners at SAG Awards
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