Having a long and somewhat checkered family history of heart attack and stroke I have had the chance to observe this disease up close and personal. While my relatives have not always successful at beating heart disease, what I can tell you is that by continuing to go down the road that got you into this situation in the first place you will be effectively signing your own death warrant.
One of the best examples of this was my grandfather who loved his hot dogs, full fat coffee creamer, hamburgers, cheese, butter, chili, fries, eggs, hash browns, sausage, bacon, gravy, and all things fried. He also loved his cigarettes, and grew up during a time when smoking was considered not only cool, but a harmless pastime. Nevertheless, he refused to change his way of living and after five heart attacks and two open heart surgery operations he was gone.
Now his story is extreme, but the point is that beating heart disease is about making lifestyle changes before they put you in the group of the 631,635 other people who will die of heart disease this year.
The thing about the heart that makes beating heart disease so difficult is that the heart muscle weakens with age. For example a 20 year olds heart has about 4 times resting capacity. This number is cut in half by the age of 80. So as you can see not only do we have to make changes that facilitate heart health but may need to exceed the established guidelines.
Beating heart disease – A five step approach
*Avoid cigarette smoke: If you smoke, or are subjecting yourself to a barrage of cigarette smoke, you are putting yourself at risk. Smoking causes already clogged arteries to constrict, basically squeezing off blood flow to the heart. It also increased bad cholesterol levels. Smokers are 4 times more likely to die for a heart attack, and it is easy to see why.
*Inactivity kills: The biggest risk factor of heart disease is inactivity. According to the CDC 39.5 percent of those with heart disease are inactive. The American Heart Association suggests 30 minutes of exercise daily. The benefit to your heart and arteries seem to expand with the amount of time and intensity spent exercising. You should check with your doctor to find the exercise routine that best suits your needs.
*Say no to fat and fatty foods: Certain types of fat clog arteries and greatly increase ones chances of heart attack or stroke. The worst of these is saturated fat. Saturated fat is found in abundance in full fat dairy products, fatty red meat, organ meats, coconut oil, and palm oil. Fried foods also tend to be high in saturated fat. If you are intent on beating heart disease total saturated fat intake must be limited to less than 7 percent or less of total calories!
*Weight matters: The more overweight a person is the greater risk of heart disease. Excess weight increases the hearts workload and tends to raise artery clogging LDL cholesterol levels, while reducing the number of heart healthy HDL cholesterol molecules in body.
*Consider a natural supplement for cholesterol: A natural cholesterol supplement will work with your body to get rid of dangerous LDL cholesterol. When combined with the steps above these types of supplements have been shown to be a valuable tool for beating heart disease, and just may give you that little extra edge needed against this dangerous foe.