Heart Month is celebrated every February of the year in different parts of the world to raise awareness of cardiovascular diseases. Rightly so, because cardiovascular diseases kill approximately 17.5 million people worldwide annually.

The Philippine Heart Month was established after Proclamation No. 1096 was signed on January 9, 1973. During the yearly month-long celebration, institutions like the Department of Health, the Philippine Heart Center, and the Philippine Heart Association traditionally recognize the event by dedicating resources for information campaigns that focus on cardiac health issues.

The projected death rate due to heart disease for the early part of 2016 was measured at 161.43 per 100,000 people. According to consultant on migration health for the International Organization for Migration and Philippine Department of Health Dr. Renzo Guinto, one out of four Filipinos have hypertension, and one out of 20 Filipinos have high fasting blood sugar.

Some of the greatest risk factors for heart disease include high blood cholesterol, smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, high blood pressure and diabetes. The best way to celebrate Philippine Heart Month is to start making better choices for optimizing your cardiovascular health!

Manage your stress levels by keeping to a regular sleep schedule, and minimizing distractions. If you smoke, quit! Check out some of the listed cessation clinics that could help you kick the cigarette habit once and for all.

Get moving, and be more physically active if you are able. Putting in a mere 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily will make a huge difference in the way you feel. Once you build your strength up, you could intensify your workouts as you go along.

Choose to eat healthier. It takes conscious effort, but you definitely can do this. Opt to eat bigger servings of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, and food that is low in sodium, trans fat, and saturated fat. Choose lean cuts of meat when preparing your own meals, or whenever it is available when you are eating out.

Going on a low-calorie diet with less sugar will also help jumpstart your healthy eating plan. Use a no-sugar substitute like Leaflife Stevia to sweeten your food and drink.  Proudly made in the Philippines, Leaflife Stevia is a carb-free, zero-fat natural sweetener derived from the stevia rebaudiana plant.

Leaflife Stevia is good for diabetics, for weight control, and for maintaining a healthy diet that reduces the overall risk of having cardiovascular diseases. Celebrate Philippine Heart Month the right way by choosing the guilt-free sweet life with Leaflife Stevia! Start your journey to better heart health now and check out our sugar-free recipes here.