Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death. That doesn’t mean that you have to accept it as your fate. Here are some key heart disease prevention and heart-healthy diet tips to help you reduce your risk.
Avoid smoking or using tobacco
The chemicals in tobacco could damage your heart and blood vessels and causes narrowing of arteries due to plaque buildup. Carbon monoxide in the cigarette smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood and increases your blood pressure. As a result, your heart works harder to supply enough oxygen.
Regular physical activity helps you to control weight and prevents other conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. A brisk walk for about thirty minutes for most of the days of the week results in a healthy heart.
Get enough sleep
If you don’t get enough sleep, you have a higher risk of obesity, high blood pressure, heart attack, depression, and diabetes. Generally, adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. So make sleep a priority in your life. Set a sleep schedule and stick to it.
If you’re stressed never resort to unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking or overeating. Alternatively try to manage stress by doing physical activity, meditation or relaxation exercises.
Eat a heart-healthy diet
A diet rich in whole grains, fruits and veggies are good for your heart. Include fat-free or low-fat dairy products, fish, beans, and lean meats as a part of a nutritious diet. Avoid too much sugar and salt in your diet. Likewise, try to control your portion sizes. Try to use a small plate or bowl to control your portions.
Create daily menus
Now that you have a basic idea of what foods to put into your heart-healthy diet and which ones to omit, it’s time to put your plan into motion. Create daily menus using heart-healthy foods. When you’re selecting foods for each snack and meal, emphasize on whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Adding variety to your meals and snacks makes them more interesting. For example, if you have black bean burger one evening try grilled salmon the next night. This way you’ll ensure that your body gets all the nutrients.
Get regular health screenings
High cholesterol and high blood pressure can damage your blood vessels and heart. Regular screenings will show your numbers and prompt you to take action. So test your blood pressure, cholesterol levels on a regular basis. Since diabetes is a risk factor for heart disease, consider being screened for diabetes. If you have any health conditions, your doctor may prescribe medications. Make sure you take those medications and follow a healthy lifestyle.