Heart Health Tips - Weekly 15th Week 2015


Even if your grandfather, aunts and cousins have heart disease, there is still a good chance you can greatly reduce your risk of developing the disease if you follow a few tips for a healthy heart. The vast majority of deaths from heart attacks or other cardiac diseases were preventable. You can start building a healthy heart today. Diet and exercise are the place to start. Rather than trying to keep up with diet fads, it’s healthier to stick to what experts say from the American Heart Association. The best diet for a healthy heart is: • Five portions of vegetables, whole grains, fruits and fiber every day • Fish two times each week such as sardines, mackerel, salmon and fresh tuna • Reduced cholesterol and trans fat with 30 percent of your daily calories coming from fat • Eat fat-free, one percent or low-fat dairy products • Add no salt added at the table and less used when cooking It’s easier to exercise your heart than you think. You just need 30 minutes per day of moderate exercise, which can be split into two sections morning and evening. Exercise also helps control blood pressure, reduce cholesterol levels and prevent diabetes. If you’re overweight, you’ll need to exercise more than this while reducing your caloric intake. Excess weight can make your heart pump harder to get the blood throughout your body. This leads to high blood pressure which is one of the leading causes of heart disease. While it’s important to eat a healthy diet and not starve on a fad diet, taking smaller portions is one way to get the nutrition your body needs while reducing weight. Smoking increases the risk of heart disease and contributes to other health factors that also contribute to heart disease. Smoking increases blood pressure and increases the tendency of blood to clot. It decreases the levels of good cholesterol HDL. Smoking a pack a day doubles your risk of heart disease compared to a non-smoker and cutting back even a little can help. Start eliminating one or two cigarettes every day and gradually reach your goal of quitting completely. Your health will improve within weeks of quitting. Depression, anxiety and anger are considered silent causes of heart disease. Many people don’t realize that a person who feels these emotions often is at greater risk of heart disease. There is treatment available that can improve these negative emotions and take the strain off the heart. People who have a history of heart disease or heart attacks in their family are at greater risk of a heart attack than people who don’t. However, genes are just half the story. There may also be a shared lifestyle that contributes to the disease. Your best option is to be checked by a doctor. You may find that your mother’s heart attack was caused by obesity and smoking, neither of which you have. If you have high cholesterol, and are not able to control it through your diet, your doctor can prescribe medication the reduce it. Walking 15 to 20 minutes every day is a good way to calm nerves, get exercise, clear your mind and think about something other than the daily grind. All of which puts you in a relaxed frame of mind, so your heart can be happy too.