Reduce Your Chances Of
Getting Heart Disease
Even people at high risk can cut their risk in half through healthy lifestyle choices like these:
- Eat a healthy diet. Eat plenty of high-fiber fresh fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Choose fish as a protein source, and reduce full-fat dairy and red meat in your diet, foods that are high in saturated fat. Cut back on salt, especially in processed foods.
- Get to a healthy weight. Being obese is linked to higher LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglyceride levels and to lower HDL (good) cholesterol as well as high blood pressure and diabetes. Being obese or even just overweight can increase heart disease risk. Eating healthier and eating less calories (even healthy ones) will help you shed excess pounds.
- Exercise. Not exercising is linked to heart disease and can also impact a variety of general health risks all of which in turn raise heart disease risk: obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol and diabetes. Getting regular physical activity can lower all of these risk factors.
- Stop smoking. Tobacco can have as serious an effect on your heart as it does on your lungs, raising the risk of both heart disease and heart attack.
- Drink less. Too much alcohol harms your heart in many ways. It raises blood pressure and triglycerides, a contributing factor in atherosclerosis.
- Reduce stress. Stress can increase your risk of a heart attack and a stroke.