Heart disease may be a leading cause of death, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept it as your fate. Although you lack the power to change some risk factors — such as family history, sex or age — there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take to reduce your risk.
You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. The following are some more essential heart disease prevention tips you should consider:
Limit your calories.
If you have diabetes, your risk is the same as someone who already had a heart attack. Obesity is caused by consuming more calories than your body burns. Abdominal obesity is the major risk. Portion sizes and the amount of sugars in the American diet have dramatically increased over the past few decades. At the same time, the daily amount of exercise has been decreasing. It is good advice to “drink slim” (water, tea, coffee). Use portion control before you start eating and push away from the table before you are “full.”
Regular diabetes screening.
Since diabetes is a risk factor for developing heart disease, you may want to consider being screened for diabetes. Talk to your doctor about when you should have a fasting blood sugar test or hemoglobin A1C test to check for diabetes.
Depending on your risk factors, such as being overweight or having a family history of diabetes, your doctor may recommend early screening for diabetes. If your weight is normal and you don’t have other risk factors for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends starting screening at age 45, and then retesting every three years.
Consider a baby aspirin.
Some doctors also recommend that men above the age of 40 should consider a baby aspirin (81 milligrams), but of course, discuss any new drug regiment with your doctor first.