Heart disease is the leading killer of both sexes in the U.S. and U.K. According to American Heart Association (AHA), about 71 million Americans are suffering from heart disease in different shapes. The most widespread form of heart disease is hypertension (also known as silent killer) or high blood pressure gives birth to coronary artery disease (CAD). These conditions are responsible for almost 8 million heart attacks and more than 5 million strokes that occur annually, alone in U.S.
Due to the prevalence of cardiovascular disease, and its dangers, people are willing to promote heart health by all means. There are multiple factors that contribute to heart health, including uncontrollable factors such as heredity and controllable risk factors such as diet and exercise habits. Though we cannot change our family histories, there are many healthy steps we can take to reduce risk of suffering from devastating heart disease.
One of the most important steps, which a person can take for healthy heart, is quit smoking. If you are a smoker, you have double chances of heart attack than a non-smoker. But when you stop smoking, the risk of heart diseases starts to reduce gradually.
Use of salt
Too much use of table salt can cause hypertension, which elevate the risk of developing CAD. Stay away from foods like crisps, salted nuts, canned and packet soups and sauces, baked beans and canned vegetables, pork pies, pizzas and ready meals. Many breakfast cereals and breads that appear healthy superficially also contain high levels of salt, so beware of these too. You should try to have a balanced diet, containing plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Limit alcohol use
Excessive alcohol use can damage the cardiac muscle, high risk of heart attack and also lead to weight gain. So limit your alcohol intake to four to eight units a week.
The heart is composed of cardiac muscles and exercise is required to keep it fit, so that it can perform its function accurately. You should aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a day. Maintaining fitness would not only benefit your physical health, it will improve your mental health too.
The number of obese people is rising day by day, all over the world. Carrying a lot of extra fat as weight may greatly affect your health and put you on the risk of life-threatening conditions such as heart diseases and type 2 diabetes. If you are overweight or obese, start by making healthy changes in tour life style and urge to become active.
Check cholesterol level
People with high blood pressure are easy victim to stroke or a heart attack. High levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to a condition known as atherosclerosis (fatty deposits in your coronary arteries) that increase your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, and diseases that affect the circulation. You can lower your blood cholesterol level by exercising and eating high-fiber foods. So check your cholesterol level regularly and try to keep it within normal values.
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