Heart disease leads to 1 in every 4 deaths in the United States. So understanding how to prevent heart disease could be a matter of life and death. Preventing it means making smart lifestyle choices now rather than later. There are ten things you can do to maintain a healthy heart.
So here are 10 habits to prevent heart disease:
1) Consume healthy fats, not trans fats
You need fats in your diet, including saturated and unsaturated fats. What you don’t need is trans fats. Trans fats can be found in many foods including fried foods such as doughnuts, snacks, margarine, and other packaged baked goods. This kind of fat clogs the arteries. Cutting it improves blood flow in the body.
Ensure that you read labels on food and look for foods with 0 percent trans fat.
Also, eat less saturated fat.
Studies show that people who are less active are more likely to have a heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise every week.
Exercises help you maintain a healthy weight which reduces the risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
Learn more about some home workout routines you can start with.
3) Don’t smoke
Avoiding smoking will make a huge impact not only on your heart but to your overall health. Tobacco causes about 34,000 heart disease deaths according to the American Heart Association. It is therefore essential to avoid smoking and secondhand smoke-no ifs or buts.
4) Cut down on salt
Too much salt leads to high blood pressure. Aim to bring down sodium to the recommended 1,500 milligrams daily.
Remember processed foods are full of salt.
5) Lower your blood sugar
Keep your blood sugar at a normal range, which is below 100. If your levels are higher than 100, you may have pre-diabetes or diabetes. Test for blood sugars periodically.
6) Eat more fiber
Fiber lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. It also fills you up, so you are likely to eat less and that can cause weight loss.
Foods that have high fiber include fruits and vegetables, legumes, whole-grain cereals, and bread and potatoes. The recommended amount of fiber is 20 to 30 grams per day.
Avoid processed amounts of fiber because they have large amounts of sugar. Make sure you drink water after fiber consumptions to avoid constipation.
7) Drink alcohol and coffee in moderation
Moderate consumption of alcohol, red wine, in particular, will help slightly raise your good cholesterol levels (DHL.) At low levels, alcohol prevents artery damage and the formation of blood clots.
Excessive amounts of coffee usually cause heartbeat irregularities. Switch from coffee to tea.
8) Manage stress
The way you cope with stress may contribute to your risk level. You may overeat, drink too much or even smoke. All these increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Identify situations that cause you stress and learn how to avoid them. When you are stressed, relax and learn the different techniques of managing stress.
9) Get enough sleep
Hazards of poor sleep extend beyond a lousy mood. According to the American Heart Association, irregular sleep pattern can cause cardiovascular risks including, high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.
Make sure you sleep early and wake up at the same time every day.
10) Schedule Regular Check-ups
Visit your doctor for regular blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, and physical check-ups. These exams are essential to determine your risk level.
The Bottom Line
There’s so much you can do to prevent heart disease. Follow all these tips to maintain a healthy heart.