Changes To Make For Heart Disease Prevention
There are plenty of myths surrounding heart health, including fad diets, fitness routines, and “miracle” cures that are marketed as a magic bullet against heart problems. The truth is, heart disease prevention takes diligence and a thoughtful approach to diet and exercise, but some basic steps can help protect your heart health for the long term.
Smokers have some of the highest instances of heart problems and heart attack of any population. The carbon monoxide in smoke replaces some of the oxygen in your blood, forcing the heart to work harder to deliver enough oxygen to your body. Tobacco contains chemicals that can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, leading to heart attack. Smoking cessation can reduce your chances of heart problems significantly.
Though many adults don’t have time in their schedules or the motivation to take on a strenuous exercise program, even a moderate increase in exercise can have an impact on your heart health. At least 30 minutes a day of moderate exercise, like walking at a brisk pace, is a great support for your heart. When combined with diet, increased exercise not only increases heart health, it helps raise levels of serotonin, the feel-good chemical, as well, reducing anxiety, depression and moodiness.
The word “diet” has taken on a negative connotation for many. It is not necessary to embrace a lifestyle of starvation and salads to increase your heart health. Aim to reduce your consumption of red meats and full-fat dairy products, while introducing more vegetables, fruits, and healthy carbs like beans. Consider replacing one red-meat meal a week with fish or chicken. Try adding more color to your plate in the form of fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce sodium and instead reach for natural herbs and spices to enhance flavor.
Avoid Excess Alcohol
One of the most popular pieces of advice given to heart patients is to have a glass of wine a day for its antioxidants. The truth is, you can get the same benefits from a glass of grape juice or a serving of vegetables. While a glass of wine with a meal may be beneficial for your heart, avoid indulging excessively in alcohol consumption.
If you have questions or concerns about your heart health and heart disease prevention, make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Cuiffo. You are only issued one heart. Take good care of it.