Businesses "Paint the Town Red" for heart awareness

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU)- According to the Centers for Disease Control, Heart Disease is the number one killer among women and men-- but it is controllable and preventable.

In an effort to keep your heart healthy during Heart Awareness Month, Chippewa Falls Main Street and St. Joseph's Hospital teamed up for "Paint the Town Red” Thursday night.

Doctors and nutritionists at the event say Cardiovascular Disease is responsible for the deaths of more than 400 thousand women a year, but prevention can be as simple as a healthy diet and exercise.

“As you get into the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s you should be getting normal blood pressure checks. Cholesterol should be checked every five years,” Dr. Laura Isaacson said.

Isaacson says a blood pressure check can seem like a routine exam but it’s one she says could make all the difference when it comes to catching heart problems early.

“A lot of times with heart health the oral intake or the sodium you have in your diet is the first thing we address with patients,” St. Joseph’s Clinical Nutritionist Heather Krieger said.

Krieger said a low sodium, low cholesterol diet can help prevent heart disease.

“We want to make sure fat and cholesterol is consumed in moderation,” Krieger said.

Krieger recommended eating more fruits and vegetables but also says you don't necessarily have to rule out sweets.

“Chocolate is good if you have the high cocoa concentration. Moderation is the key but having a small amount is recommended,” Krieger said.

As part of heart month, Governor Scott Walker is encouraging everyone to wear red Thursday to raise awareness of Heart Disease.

The Governor's mansion will be lit red until midnight Friday night.

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