How to Prevent Heart Disease
While nothing guarantees that you don't develop heart disease, you can do several things to reduce your risk and stay healthy.
Exercise improves your heart's pumping efficiency, benefits circulation and increases overall strength and endurance.
According to the latest joint American Heart Association/American College of Sports Medicine guidelines on physical activity, all healthy adults ages 18-65 should get least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity five days a week. You can also break up those 30 minutes into three 10-minute sessions.
Make Healthy Food Choices
- Replace foods high in fat with healthier foods
- Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains
- Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat
- Select fat-free, 1 percent fat, and low-fat dairy products
- Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet
- Cut back on foods high in cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day
- Limit beverages and processed foods with added sugars
- Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt - at you should aim to eat less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day
- Don't overeat. Watch portion size and calories
Know Your Levels
- Know your cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglyceride levels - the higher your cholesterol level, the greater your risk of heart disease
Watch Your Weight
Diet and exercise should help you lower and maintain your weight.
Talk to Your Family
Family history of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, heart attack, obesity or diabetes increases your risk.
Lower Your Stress Level
People who experience constant stress are more prone to cardiovascular disease. If you cannot avoid stressful situations, learn how to respond in a way that is not stressful for you.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Get Regular Check-ups