Heart disease affects about nine million adults in the United States alone, and kills an adult every 37 seconds. Many of these deaths could be preventable if we are willing to take certain steps to improve our cardiovascular health. In-depth research has suggested that the prevalence of heart disease can be decreased by almost ninety percent with a few simple changes to diet and lifestyle. Every adult show be implementing the following steps to not only increase the health of our hearts, but to gain more satisfaction in how we are living our lives.
Be Aware Of Danger Levels
High blood cholesterol has been linked to almost one-third of all heart disease cases in the world. If you have high cholesterol and blood pressure, you are much more likely to struggle with cardiovascular disease. Fortunately, there is an easy fix for these problems. Talk to your physician about certain medications that can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Get regular screenings, and be aware of what numbers tells you that you are in a danger zone with cholesterol or blood pressure.
Determine Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Several factors play a part in the body’s heart health. Some of the factors that can greatly increase the risk of heart disease are:
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
An adult who deals with any one of these three factors is twice as likely to develop heart disease over a period of six years. An adult who suffers from all three of these symptoms can increase the chances of developing cardiovascular disease by almost eight times. We should all be regularly calculating our risk of developing cardiovascular disease in order to prevent tragic events from happening.
Drop A Few Pounds
Losing even five to ten percent of one’s total body weight can help to lower blood pressure, lower the risk of developing diabetes and improve cholesterol levels for any adult. Determining if we are at risk is simply a matter of calculating body mass index (BMI) and deciding if the numbers are too high. Exercise and healthy eating can help to shed a few pounds and improve cardiovascular health.
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Cut Out Saturated Fat
Some saturated fats can elevate bad cholesterol levels that can lead to plaque buildup in the arteries. Foods like butter, sour cream, and mayonnaise should only be eaten in small quantities. Eat less than five percent of your total calories in saturated fat in order to maintain good heart health.
Be Done With Junk Food
Junk food is the weakness many of us can’t seem to give up. But it’s amazing how quickly heart health can improve when junk food is cut out of a diet. Not only does the health of the heart improve, but the body also feels better and is more likely to engage in physical activities when junk food is cut out completely. Avoid packaged snacks, crackers and bakery goods in large quantities in order to improve the health of your heart. Eat high quantities of vegetables, fruits and nuts.
Increase Daily Intake Of Fiber
Recent studies have linked a diet that is high in fiber with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Foods that are high in fiber can help to lower the bad cholesterol levels in the body by binding bile acid that is then removed from the body as waste because our bodies lack the ability to digest it. Examples of foods high in soluble fiber are:
- Citrus fruit
Increase your daily intake of these foods to cut the risks of cardiovascular disease significantly.
Drink Alcohol In Moderation
Any responsible adult knows that drinking alcohol in large quantities can be devastating to the human body. Those who drink moderately are less likely to have heart disease than those who don’t drink alcohol, although it’s important to avoid drinking this substance in damaging amounts. Alcohol can raise good cholesterol. The specific example of wine helps to thin the blood and makes it less likely to clot. Wine, in particular, also contains antioxidants that prevent the body’s arteries from taking in bad cholesterol in order to help the body avoid plaque buildup in the arteries.
Change Your Lifestyle And Lengthen Your Life
We all know that doing a complete overhaul of how we live and eat is not likely to happen. But increasing cardiovascular health doesn’t take a total overhaul. With a commitment to getting healthy and a few simple proactive steps, we can all increase our heart health and lengthen the lifespan of the average adult.
Cardiac Vascular & Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA)