The chance of developing coronary heart disease can be reduced by taking steps to prevent and control risk factors. People who have survived a heart attack can also work to reduce their risk of another heart attack or a stroke in the future.
Diseases and Conditions That Put Your Heart at Risk
Conditions that affect your heart or increase your risk of death or disability include arrhythmia, heart failure, and peripheral artery disease (PAD), high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity and diabetes. Lifestyle choices associated with heart disease include tobacco use, unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, and secondhand smoke. (For a full list of diseases and conditions and risk factors visit the American Heart Association).
Healthy Lifestyle: Diet and Nutrition, Exercise and Fitness
A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons you have to fight heart disease. Many people make it harder than it is. It is important to remember that it is the overall pattern of the choices you make that counts. As you make daily food choices, read nutrition labels and base your eating pattern on these recommendations:
• Choose lean meats and poultry without skin and prepare them without added saturated and trans fat.
• Select fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products.
• Cut back on foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils to reduce trans fat in your diet.
• Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol. Aim to eat less than 300 mg of cholesterol each day.
• Cut back on beverages and foods with added sugars.
• Select and purchase foods lower in salt/sodium.
• If you drink alcohol, drink in moderation. That means no more than one drink per day if you’re a woman and two drinks per day if you’re a man.
• Keep an eye on your portion sizes.
Physical activity in your daily life is an important step to preventing heart disease. Take a few simple steps at home, at work, and at play to increase the amount of physical activity in your life.
Take a look at the Heart Disease Indicator Tests and consider getting tested.