Love Your Heart
Love Your Heart
Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. One in every four deaths is due to heart disease. The most common type of heart disease, atherosclerosis, refers to conditions that involve narrow or blocked blood vessels.
Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body. Plaque is made up of fat, calcium, cholesterol, and other substances found in the blood. Over time, plaque hardens and narrows your arteries. This limits the flow of blood to your organs and body. This can lead to chest pain (angina), heart attack or stroke. Other heart conditions that are considered forms of heart disease are those that affect the heart's muscle, heart valves or heart rhythm.
Atherosclerosis, plaque build up in the artery walls, causes them to thicken and stiffen. An unhealthy diet, lack of exercise, being overweight and smoking are some of the preventable things that can cause this. Atherosclerosis can lead to serious problems, including heart attack, stroke or even death.
There are a few things you can do in order to prevent heart disease:
• Saturated fats
• Sweets/ added sugars
• Red meats
• Trans fat
• Partially hydrogenated oils
• Make wise choices
• Read labels on packages
• Watch your calorie intake
• Manage your portions
• Eat a wide variety of foods
• Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, legumes.
• Fish (high in omega-3 fatty acids),
• Poultry without skin
• Fat-free and low-fat dairy products
Manage Your Weight:
Maintaining a healthy weight can help prevent heart disease. Lose weight if you need to. A few lost pounds can go a long way. You can calculate your body mass index by using this calculator.
Manage Your Stress:
Stress affects everyone in different ways. Stress can cause headaches, backaches, and stomachaches, among other things. It can cause trouble sleeping, anxiety, depression, anger, and cause you to be easily irritated and forgetful.
Smokers have a higher risk of developing many diseases, including atherosclerosis. Cigarrette smoking is a risk factor you can control. Smoking decreases HDL cholesterol. It also increases the risk for peripheral artery disease and aortic aneurysm.
Smoking is also a risk factor for stroke.
Staying active is one of the most important things a person can do to maintain a healthy weight. It can reduce your chance of suffering from heart disease and help you live a healthier life.
- Take walks with a friend/child.
- Walk the dog.
- Decrease the amount of time you spend in front of a TV or computer.
- Plan outdoor activities as a family.
- Join a gym.
- Take the stairs.