McCordsville woman wins Heart Association award

MCCORDSVILLE — A McCordsville woman was recently recognized by the American Heart Association for her commitment to changing her diet.

Karla Sam is one of seven representatives selected to represent the American Heart Association’s “Real People. Real Change.” program, with each candidate representing a different factor for ideal heart health, said Tim Harms, American Heart Association senior communications director.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States, causing one in three deaths each year. Some heart disease risk factors include family history and aging; however, up to 80 percent of heart disease is preventable by making small changes to lead a heart-healthy lifestyle, according to a news release.

Sam was selected for the “eat better” factor because of the changes she has implemented in her diet since February 2016, Harms said.

She carefully watched her portion sizes and avoided overeating. She cut back on the amount of processed foods she ate and replaced them with fresh fruits and vegetables and also began packing breakfast, lunch and healthy snacks to help her stay on track. Sam has lost 37 pounds and enjoys her increased energy level when playing with her young children, according to a news release.

The recipients were introduced at the Indianapolis Heart Walk Saturday and will represent the American Heart Association as ambassadors at select events in 2017 and 2018. Each recipient received a pair of custom-designed athletic shoes, and their employers each received a $1,000 grant from UnitedHealthcare in support of their employee wellness programs.

Real People. Real Change.

Seven Hoosiers have been selected as representatives of the American Heart Association’s “Real People. Real Change.” program, with each candidate representing a different factor for ideal heart health.

Manage Blood Pressure: Philip Andrew Thomas of Clayton – Hendricks Regional Health

Control Cholesterol: Ivan Bohannon of Indianapolis – Angie’s List

Reduce Blood Sugar: Ken Frank of Brownsburg – JP Morgan Chase

Get Active: Debbie Drake of Avon – Indiana Wesleyan University

Lose Weight: Rick Huffman of Sheridan – CNO Financial Group

Stop Smoking: Misty Ackles-Dumas of Indianapolis – MSD Lawrence Township