Making the choice to do what you can to maintain a healthy heart might just be the most important thing you can do for your overall health and wellness. As the leading cause of death in the United States, heart disease is responsible for one out of every four deaths in the country. More than half of those deaths are men. With more than 700,000 people suffering a heart attack every year in the U.S. alone, the risk of heart disease is very real.
The good news is that when it comes to preventing heart disease, there is plenty you can do. Simple adjustments to your lifestyle and eating habits can make a tremendous difference in your health. Below find the top three tips to help you to prevent cardiovascular disease and heart attacks.
1. Start With a Heart Healthy Diet
Moderate Meat Consumption
The American Heart Association, among countless other health organizations, recommend careful moderation when it comes to the saturated fats found in most red meats. Consuming excess saturated fat is the number one cause of clogged arteries and high cholesterol levels. Overall, experts recommend that about 20% to 30% of the calories you consume should come from fat, with only about 10% coming from saturated fats.
Eat More of the GOOD Fats
Unsaturated fat, on the other hand, can be a real boost to your heart health. Unsaturated fats are found in foods like olive oil, avocados, walnuts, and almonds. Not only will these foods help to raise the “good” cholesterol (HDL) levels in your blood, they’ll help bring the “bad” cholesterol (LDL) levels down, too.
Become Fruit and Veggie Friendly
In addition to keeping an eye on the types of fats you eat, make an effort to get more fruits and vegetables into your diet. With high blood pressure being a major risk factor for heart attack and stroke, anything you can do to prevent it is likely beneficial.
Most fruits and vegetables are rich in potassium, which has been shown to lower blood pressure. Experts recommend about 4,700 milligrams of potassium daily, which would be equal to about two cups of fruit and two cups of veggies. If you want to look for those with the most potassium, opt for tomatoes, leafy greens, potatoes, bananas, and squash.
2. Watch Your Weight To Boost Heart Attack Prevention
For men, a waistline of 40 inches or more significantly raises the risk of heart disease. It’s simple, really: The larger you are, the more work your heart has to do.
Reducing and maintaining the weight you carry around with you will improve both your heart health and overall health.
If you do need to lose weight, do it gradually. Try reducing the number of calories you take in over time. Start by cutting out 400 or 500 calories by reducing portion size and watching out for foods with added sugars or fats. As you get used to a lower caloric intake, you can reduce it further without shocking your mind or your body.
3. Exercise To Maintain A Healthy Heart
Regular aerobic exercise is one of the best things you can do for a healthy heart. Experts recommend 30 to 60 minutes of exercise four or five days per week. Anything that raises your heart rate for those 30 to 60 minutes is good for you. It can be walking, jogging, biking, dancing, or anything else that you enjoy doing that keeps your body moving. The trick to maintaining the right amount of exercise in your daily routine is to find something you like to do.
Would You Like More Information?
If you’re concerned about your health and risks for heart attack or heart disease, we’re here to help. You can get more information on how to keep your heart healthy and beating strong at Hotze Health & Wellness Center. Feel free to browse our online articles, or call and speak with a medical professional. We’re here to help you reach your healthy living goals.