Heart disease causes half of all deaths within the United States each year and is the leading cause of death worldwide. While there are some factors that are uncontrollable, many factors contributing to heart disease are easily preventable by creating lifestyle changes.
High blood pressure is a major cause of heart disease, and high cholesterol greatly increases your chance of high blood pressure. To prevent high cholesterol, you need to avoid saturated fats found in red meats and dairy products such as cheese and butter. You’ll also need to avoid other foods containing high amounts of oils and fats. Fish and chicken are much healthier alternatives. Also, choose baked rather than fried food and add more heart healthy fruits and vegetables into your daily food intake. Caffeine and salt should also be avoided as much as possible.
A heart healthy diet has been shown to be one of the best controllable ways to prevent heart disease and promote longevity. Talk with your doctor and check with the American Heart Association for the creation of the best possible heart healthy diet.
Another major contributor to heart disease is smoking. It cannot be stressed enough that in order to prevent heart disease you should not smoke. Smoking is a major lifestyle contributor to heart disease deaths. Smoking makes your heart have to work harder and also contributes to high blood pressure. Even if you’ve been smoking for years, you can reap substantial heart healthy benefits by quitting now. This greatly reduces the chances of developing heart disease, and the longer you stay quit, the healthier you and heart will become.
Obesity is also a major preventable contributor to heart disease. It is an increasingly common health problem in the United States and is responsible for much of the rising rates of heart disease related deaths in the country. To combat obesity, you need to develop a plan combining the reduction of caloric intake along with an exercise program developed to target weight loss. You need to incorporate new healthier eating habits not just in the short term for weight loss, but as a long-term lifestyle change to keep the weight off and to remain healthy.
Even if you are not obese, your chances of developing heart disease are much higher if you live a sedentary lifestyle. You should exercise at levels that increase your heart rate for at least 30 minutes three times a week. Your exercise does not necessarily have to be intense, as you will experience heart healthy results even with moderate levels of exercise. Exercise can be an enjoyable experience if you choose healthy activities that you enjoy.
Besides the major contributors, alcohol can also increase the chances of developing heart disease. Moderate drinking (one to two drinks per day) can actually reduce the chances of developing heart disease. However, binge drinking or drinking excessively contributes to heart related problems and will also raise the level of fats within the blood and body.
Stress contributes to the development of heart disease, so learn to properly identify and deal with the causes of stress in your life. Learn stress reduction techniques to avoid negative affects on your heart’s health.
While there are contributing factors out of our control such as heredity and age, you can make lifestyle changes to greatly reduce your chances of developing heart disease. Create a lifestyle of heart healthy living, and you will greatly decrease your chances of suffering heart disease related death. Promote your health and longevity by creating a heart healthy lifestyle.