February is American Heart Month. The purpose of American Heart Month is to spread awareness on heart disease. In honor of heart month, here are 5 tips to keep your heart healthy:
According to the Heart Foundation, a heart healthy diet is a pattern, that doesn’t just focus on one nutrient or food, rather it focuses on many different aspects of your food. For example, in a heart healthy diet, you should be eating less saturated and trans fats, salt and added sugar. Instead you should be eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fibers, unsaturated fats, and antioxidants.
Being active can reduce your risk for having a heart attack or developing heart disease, according to the Heart Foundation. Doing physical activity is incredibly beneficial to your heart health and your overall health. Working out daily, can decrease your blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It also can strengthen your muscles and bones!
The Heart Foundation states smoking makes you three times more likely to die from sudden cardiac death and four times more likely to die of a stroke or a heart attack. When you quit smoking, your risk for heart attack, stroke, and cardiac death decreases significantly.
- Control Your Cholesterol Levels
As stated by the Heart Foundation, there are two main types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein (‘good cholesterol’) and low-density lipoprotein (‘bad cholesterol’). Low-density lipoprotein can create plaques, which are a build up of cholesterol. These plaques can create blockages in your arteries and these blockages can increase your risk for a stroke or heart attack. Control your cholesterol level by eating a heart healthy diet, decreasing your intake of saturated and trans fat foods, and going to your doctor’s office to find out what your cholesterol levels are and to determine if you need medication.
- Control Your Blood Pressure
According to the Heart Foundation, having high blood pressure for a long period of time is one of the biggest risk factors for heart disease. Being active and reducing your salt intake can help control your blood pressure and reduce your risk for heart disease.
Following these tips can help you decrease your risk for heart disease and help you have a healthier life style!