Preventing Heart Disease in Seven Ways
About 1 in 4 deaths in the United States is believed to be caused by heart disease. According to medical articles, more than 450,000 Americans die of coronary heart disease each year. Heart disease remains the leading cause of deaths in the country. How do we prevent it?
1. Reduce fat intake. This is the best way. You probably have read much about how cholesterol and fat wreak havoc on your arteries. Unfortunately, people don’t pay attention. Wrong diet is the leading cause of not only heart disease but other conditions like diabetes and cancer. The ideal way to get rid of unwanted fat is to stay away from solid fats like butter and margarine.
2. Opt for low-fat protein sources. For many people, the best source of protein is meat, but meat contains animal fat. Healthier alternatives are fish, legumes, and skim milk. Some types of fish are good sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for the heart. Avoid full-fat milk, egg yolks, hot dogs, sausages, and bacon. These sources are rich in fat.
3. Have more servings of vegetables and fruits. Next time you do grocery shopping, include veggies and fruits. These are rich in fiber and have high doses of vitamins and minerals. They are low in calories and fat. Thus, they are very good for the heart and for health in general. But there are fruits to avoid like coconut. Instead of eating snacks, ice-cream, and burgers, help yourself to salad and vegetable dishes.
4. Go for whole grains. They are rich in fiber. So instead of refined grain products, buy whole grain substitutes. Ground flaxseed, for instance, is an ideal substitute to refined grains. It contains omega-3 fatty acids, thus helping lower cholesterol in your body. Other healthy grains are brown rice, high-fiber cereal, oatmeal, and whole grain pasta. Avoid white bread, refined flour, doughnuts, biscuits, egg noodles, granola bars, cakes, and pies.
5. Reduce salt intake. Health and medical articles are against too much salt consumption. Salt contains sodium which causes water retention and raises blood pressure. High blood pressure is a risk factor for heart disease. Then again, aside from reducing salt in your recipes, you should also stay away from canned and processed food, which has lots of sodium. Making your own food is the healthier alternative.
6. Do not overeat. A lot of people eat more servings in a meal than needed. This is the efficient way to gain weight, most especially if you are an office worker glued to your seat more than 8 hours a day. Overweight people are at risk of heart disease. Check the amount of food you eat. Don’t consume more than what you can burn.
7. Walk, run! It’s easy to use gas when driving to a store a few blocks away. Why don’t you move those muscles and take a hike? Inactive people tend to retain fats in their tissues. This is not good for the heart. Exercise is one of the best ways to improve well-being and prevent cardiovascular disease.
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