POSTED: Wednesday, November 6, 2013 - 6:00pm
UPDATED: Thursday, November 7, 2013 - 6:34pm
BATON ROUGE, LA (NBC33) — The number one killer for Americans is heart disease, and it's preventable.
So Wednesday, a few organizations decided to spread the word, all starting with a banana.
Jeff Martin said he knows the importance of a healthy lifestyle. So for National Eating Healthy Day, he decided to start his day off the right way.
"Well this is fantastic. I was driving in to school this morning, dropping the kids off, I heard the radio on the Tiger that they were passing out bananas for the American Heart Association and really kind of awareness," Martin said. "These are very small things that you can do. / It's not necessarily redoing the whole diet, it's making small adjustments, portions, more fruit. more vegetables, and just knowing that sometimes, makes all the difference in the world."
The American Heart Association, Our Lady of the Lake, and Tiger 100.7 teamed up to raise awareness about the importance of good nutrition. So you can lower your risk for heart disease.
"Basically, we are just meeting people in their everyday lives, coming here to Walgreens, driving to work, wherever that may be, and just handing them a piece of fruit. The fruit is labeled with nutritional guidelines that are recommendations from the Heart Association of how you can eat healthy," Linzy Cotaya, the communications director for AHA, said. "We're teaching people that you need to eat healthy. It doesn't mean you have to do a fad diet. It doesn't mean you have to cut out everything that you love. It's just about making smarter, healthier decisions in your every day life."
Mayor Kip Holden even took a bite out of this initiative because he knows the effects of heart disease firsthand.
"My mom died of a heart attack at 51years old. It is very, very devastating, especially since there were no visible signs at first," Holden said. "Don't let a funeral service be that reminder. When you see the healthy foods, when you hear the doctors telling you what to do, they're telling you that for a reason, and that reason is to keep you alive.
"It's our first initiative like this," Cotaya said. "Hope it goes well in all the markets and hope we really make an impact in meeting people with those healthy-eating recommendations."
This is the organizations' first time doing something like this. They gave away more than 600 bananas. The American Heart Association suggests eating five to eight servings of fruit and vegetables a day to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle.