HIGH POINT, N.C. - The YWCA of High Point is offering a free cooking course titled "Eating Heart Healthy."

The purpose is to help teach the public how to cook and eat for a healthier heart and overall lifestyle.

The YWCA teamed up with the American Heart Association to provide the 5-week course.

The American Heart Association says cardiovascular disease accounts for nearly 836,546 deaths in the United States.

That's about 1 of every 3 deaths in the U.S.

Statistics also show that heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women.

Chef N'gai Dickerson will lead the healthy cooking class.

He is the American Heart Association's Hampton Family Mobile Kitchen Chef.

Participants will learn how to cook heart healthy meals and sample food items to take home.

The "Eating Heart Healthy" cooking course will be held at the YWCA of High Point from May 3rd to June 7th.

To learn more about the free cooking course or to register, click here.

The American Heart Association offers the following heart healthy eating tips for your family:

  • Make it fun for kids to try new fruits and vegetables. Let them pick out a new fruit or vegetable in the grocery store each week, and figure out together how to cook or prepare it in a healthy way.
  • Whole grains are a good option! Choose whole-grain foods, such as whole-wheat bread, rye bread, brown rice, popcorn, oatmeal and whole-grain cereal.
  • Some fats are better for you than others. Use liquid vegetable oils such as canola, corn, olive, safflower, sesame and sunflower oils in place of butter and solid fats whenever possible.
  • Chicken, fish and beans are good choices for protein. Remove skin and visible fat from poultry. If you do eat red meat, limit it to once in a while, keep portion size small and choose the leanest cuts.
  • Read food nutrition labels. Pick healthy foods that provide nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber but limit sodium, added sugars, saturated fat and trans fat.
  • When you cook at home you have more control over ingredients and portion sizes, so aim to cook at home more often than eating out. Get great recipes and tips at heart.org/recipes.
  • For snack time, keep fresh fruit and pre-chopped or no-chop veggies on hand. Your family is more likely to grab fruits and vegetables over other items if they're readily available.
  • Enjoy fish high in omega-3 fatty acids. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, trout and albacore tuna are good choices.
  • Break up with Sneaky Salt! Most sodium in the American diet comes from processed and restaurant foods, not from the salt shaker!
  • A small handful of nuts or seeds can be a satisfying and healthy snack. Look for unsalted or lightly salted nuts. Almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios and walnuts are all good choices.
  • Vegetables and fruits are loaded with nutrients and fiber, and typically low in calories and sodium. Fresh, frozen or canned produce can all be healthy choices, but compare food labels and choose wisely.
  • Try sparkling water, unsweetened tea or sugar-free beverages instead of sugar-sweetened soda or tea. Add lemon, lime or berries to beverages for extra flavor. Watch our 12 Infused Water Recipes video.
  • Instead of frying foods – which can add a lot of extra calories and unhealthy fats– use healthier cooking methods that add little or no solid fat, like roasting, grilling, baking or steaming.