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Atrium Health Navicent to Offer Heart-Healthy Cooking Class

In observance of American Heart Month, Atrium Health Navicent is offering a free, hearthealthy cooking class to the community at noon on Feb. 24. Participants will learn how to make a healthy main dish and side, and will have an opportunity to sample the dish too.

The free class will be held at Atrium Health Navicent Wellness Center, 3797 Northside Drive in Macon. Space is limited. Please RSVP by Feb. 17 by calling 478-633-7157.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. The CDC estimates that 697,000 people in the U.S. die of heart disease each year – approximately 1 in every 5 deaths.

Studies show that people with healthy eating habits have a 31 percent less risk of heart disease.

“The best diet for preventing heart disease is one that has lots of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, fish, poultry, and vegetable oils and doesn’t include many, if any, red or processed meats, refined carbohydrates, foods and beverages with added sugar, sodium, and foods with trans-fat,” said Dr. Erskine James, director of Atrium Health Navicent’s Advanced Heart Failure Center and Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit medical director.

During the cooking class, participants will learn to make brown sugar barbecue spiced salmon with fresh broccoli salad prepared by Josh Nowell, senior director of food and nutrition services for Atrium Navicent Health, with special assistance offered by Atrium Health Navicent President Delvecchio Finley.

American Heart Month is a great time to begin practicing heart-healthy living. Here are more tips you can implement at home:

• Eat healthy: Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and sodium. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish, nuts, legumes and seeds. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat.

• Be physically active: Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week, like brisk walking, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity every week, like jogging. Atrium Health Navicent Wellness Center offers fitness classes and trainers to help you on your fitness journey.

• Learn the warning signs: Heart attack symptoms in women can be different than in men. Knowing when you’re having a heart attack or stroke means you’re more likely to get immediate help. Quick treatment can save your life.

• Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke: It’s never too late to quit smoking. Even exposure to secondhand smoke poses a serious health hazard.

• Have regular wellness exams: Establishing a relationship with a physician means you can regularly keep an eye on your heart health.

About Atrium Health Navicent

Atrium Health Navicent is the leading provider of health care in central and south Georgia and is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Atrium Health Navicent is part of Advocate Health, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is the fifth-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Navicent provides high-quality, personalized care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region. As part of the largest, integrated, nonprofit health system in the Southeast, it is also able to tap into some of the nation’s leading medical experts and specialists with Atrium Health, allowing it to provide the best care close to home – including advanced innovations in virtual medicine and care. Throughout its 125-year history in the community, Atrium Health Navicent has remained dedicated to enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. It is also one of the leading teaching hospitals in the region, helping to ensure viability for rural health care for the next generation. For more information, please visit