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 heart disease prevention tips you should consider:
4. Take responsibility for your health.
If you have diabetes, your risk of heart disease increases dramatically. The best prevention against heart disease and stroke is to understand the risks and treatment options. The greatest risk is ignorance or misinformation. One very important step is to take responsibility for your health.
5. Follow a heart-healthy diet.
Eat foods that are low in fat and cholesterol. Just about everyone should eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, legumes, and other plant-based foods. The fiber is good for your cholesterol, and you’ll get vitamins the natural way, from foods.
You can still eat fish (especially salmon or tuna, which are high in good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids), poultry, and meat, but make it lean and keep the portions modest. Also limit salt and sugar. Most people get too much of both.
6. Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight — especially if you carry excess weight around your middle — increases your risk of heart disease. Excess weight can lead to conditions that increase your chances of heart disease — including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Metabolic syndrome — a combination of fat around your abdomen, high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high triglycerides — also increases the risk of heart disease.
Men are generally considered overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 40 inches (101.6 centimeters, or cm).
Women are generally overweight if their waist measurement is greater than 35 inches (88.9 cm).