Heart Disease Prevention: The Facts

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.

Smoking Cessationheart disease prevention

Smokers have some of the highest instances of heart problems and heart attacks 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. While that is already a large issue, tobacco contains chemicals that can cause plaque buildup in the arteries, leading to a heart attack. Both of these issues can substantially affect your heart’s function, and eventually, help lead to further problems. 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 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 as reduces 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. There are many alterations to your diet that can be very useful for 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. Too much alcohol can affect your health in many ways, which includes the heart. It can lead to high blood pressure, heart failure and strokes when the drinking is an excessive amount.

With these facts, you can start to take the time to transform your life in a healthy way. There may be easy switches that would give truly life-saving results. Heart disease prevention should always be a priority. Do you have questions or concerns about your heart health and heart disease prevention? Now is a great time to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Cuiffo. Check out the website or give us a call for more information. You are only issued one heart. Take good care of it.

A picture of Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD wearing his Mercy One doctor attire.

About the Author

Giovanni B. Ciuffo, MD Director is an expert in Minimally Invasive Heart Surgery and Bloodless Heart Surgery is the outcome of his commitment to the development and improvement of both of these techniques. He runs a Cardiothoracic Surgery practice and manages Minimally Invasive and Bloodless Heart Surgery Program where he cares for patients from all over the country and locally. Click here to learn more about Dr. Ciuffo.

Board Certified:
American Board of Surgery
American Board of Thoracic Surgery