For many people, heart disease is a debilitating condition. According to statistics from Center of Disease Control and Prevention, it is the leading cause of mortality in the United States.Individuals who are exposed to certain risks factors have a high possibility of having heart disease. These risk factors can be categorized into two: Modified and non-modified risk factors. Modified risk factors are those that one can control whereas non-modified risk factors are those that cannot be controlled, such as genetics.
It is clear that our choices determine our heart’s health. Lifestyle changes such as healthy eating, managing diabetes, smoking cessation, exercise, managing stress and blood pressure can help greatly in reducing the chances of getting heart disease.
In the prevention of heart disease, one’s diet plays a crucial role. Maintaining good diet reduces the risk of heart disease even if one has a genetic predisposition or family history of the disease. According to most research, diets with vegetables, whole grains, raw fruits, and omega-3 fatty acids which are usually found in fish help lower the chances of getting this disease. The occurrence of this disease can also be reduced through a Mediterranean style diet. This diet focuses on olive oil, herbs, nuts and eating red meat once or twice a month. Along with the aforementioned servings, fruits and vegetables are also essential.
Maintaining a healthy diet requires one to limit or avoid certain foods that tend to worsen heart disease. These include foods with high levels of salt and sugar, alcoholic beverages and those made with hydrogenated vegetable oil. It is also important to watch one’s calories. One should know the number of calories needed per day and focus on having high nutritious meals that are low in calories.
Regular exercise is highly essential to maintaining a healthy weight. This will help prevent heart disease and lowers the blood pressure. According to experts, getting a 30-minute exercise schedule every day is very essential. These exercises do not need to be intensive; lighter exercises can serve the purpose effectively. Even simple activities such as cleaning the house, jogging, or even walking your dog can also help burn those excess calories. The main aim is to stay active. The ultimate goal of a steady exercise regime is a healthy weight. There should be a balance between the caloric intake and the amount of exercise one gets. To set goals on weight loss, find out your body mass index (BMI) first. A healthy weight guarantees low blood pressure and reduced risks of heart complications.
Cholesterol is responsible for insulating nerves, controlling hormone production and building new cells in one’s body. Normally, cholesterol needed by the body is produced by the liver. However, cholesterol also enters one’s body through the foods consumed, especially animal-based foods like meat, eggs and milk. Too much cholesterol in one’s body increases the chances of heart disease. Many people tend to be unaware of the levels of cholesterol in their bodies because there are no symptoms that come about due to high levels of cholesterol. If there are high levels of cholesterol, steps should be taken to reduce it in order to reduce the risk of heart disease.
Manage blood pressure
Hypertension, in most instances, causes increased stress on one’s cardiovascular system and ends up contributing to the development of heart disease. Managing blood pressure is therefore crucial. Blood pressure can be lowered through diet, weight management, exercise, and avoiding smoking and stress. Limiting alcohol consumption and salt intake are some of the effective ways to lower blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, work closely with your healthcare provider to monitor your blood pressure regularly. Your doctor can provide you a combination of medication and diet suggestions that can help keep hypertension at bay.
Reduce Blood Sugar:
A high level of blood sugar is a serious risk factor for developing heart disease. When left untreated, it can increase the harmful effect on many organs in the body and can eventually lead to stroke, peripheral artery disease and other complications. If one has diabetes, learning how to manage the condition is key to preventing heart disease. This involves regular checkups with the doctor to monitor blood sugar levels, regular exercise and a healthy diet. In some cases, high blood sugar levels can also be managed through medication. A healthy lifestyle limits the effects of diabetes and generally reduces the risk of developing heart disease.
Smoking cessation is a crucial step towards reducing the risks of getting heart disease. Smoking has been noted as one of the major contributors to coronary heart disease, strokes and heart attacks. Smoking causes the formation of plaque, a fatty substance that can coat the inner walls of your arteries, and eventually leads to arteriosclerosis, a condition of the heart which is characterized by hardening of the arteries. Smoking also has adverse effects on the function of various organs which can lead to serious risk of heart disease, among others. It raises blood pressure levels and reduces good cholesterol amounts, which in turn, lead to increased stress in the arteries. The effects of quitting smoking are immediate. Circulation improves, blood pressure decreases and there is also an increase in oxygen supply. These changes can help boost energy levels and reduce the risk of heart disease by 50%.
Diagnosis of heart disease can be frightening but a change in your lifestyle choices can definitely help in preventing its adverse effects. It is crucial to take care of your heart since it’s a primary organ which helps circulate blood. Proper healthcare also reduces the chances of developing health disease.