Many of us are concerned about heart health but don’t know where to start. What is a healthy diet? What are the most harmful things I am doing? How can improve my lifestyle? Here are 5 tip to help you get started.
Having fruits and vegetables as a snack and making sure they are included in every meal to create a plate with a rainbow of colors is the first step to prevent heart disease, stroke and cancer. Five daily servings of fruits and vegetable are recommended. Try to eat one whole food of every color every day! Skittles don’t count!
Eat foods that contain fiber such as vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts, and grains. They are also important on preventing cardiovascular disease and regulating blood glucose. The daily recommended amount of fiber for women is 25 grams and 35-40 grams for men.
Get fit by eating fat! Is it true that all fats are bad for your body? No! Let’s begin with exploring some details about the different types of fats. Trans fats are the most unhealthy fats. These are the one that come from margarines, many fast foods, and some store-bought baked goods. They threaten cardiovascular health and need to be avoided. Saturated fats are the fats that come from animal sources such as meat and dairy products. The American Heart Association recommends that only 5-6% of your calories should come from these fats. To avoid cardiovascular disease substituting those with healthy fats are recommended. The healthy fats are known as poly and mono unsaturated fats that are found in vegetable such as avocado and olives. The healthy fats are omega-3 fats that come from fish, nuts, and seeds. These fats help reduce inflammation in your body and reduce your risk of blood clots.
Exercise benefits multiple systems and favors many positive health outcomes. Studies have shown that exercise decreases the risk of getting chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic lung disease, chronic kidney disease, Alzheimer disease, and some cancers. The American Heart Association recommends a total of 300 minutes per week of moderate intensity exercise.
Don’t poison yourself! Alcohol consumption, if consumed at all needs to be in moderation. The American Heart Association recommends a maximum of one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women. A drink is one 12 oz. beer, 4 oz. of wine, 1.5 oz. of 80-proof spirits, or 1 oz. of 100-proof spirits. Tobacco kills and one of the leading causes of preventable death. Do not use tobacco in any form, even a little bit takes previous minutes off your life.
There is much more to optimizing cardiovascular health than these five tips, but if you could do all of them at least most the time you will be living a healthier lifestyle than 80% of Americans. Even if you are doing all of this and more there are many genetic and environmental factors that can cause heart disease. Only a thorough screening by a skilled physician can accurately assess your risk. At SageMED we offer comprehensive screenings and cutting edge diagnostics to assess your wellness and to pinpoint any risk. Make an appointment today to get your heart checked and make sure you are the path to optimal wellness and longevity.