The key to preventing heart disease is through a healthy lifestyle, starting with a healthy diet.
Although heredity is a risk factor for heart disease, and an individual cannot control this factor, other factors can be modified to decrease the risk of heart disease. What you eat can reduce your chances of developing heart disease. A heart-healthy diet includes lots of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. Chickpeas, beans, and soy products can help lower your cholesterol as well as olive oil, garlic, and avocados. Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and pecans, can boost “good” cholesterol (nuts are high in calories, so limit the amount you eat). Incorporate fish and seafood into your meals a few times a week. Avoid red meat and also try to avoid sweets.
Lifestyle changes: using alcohol in moderation and quitting smoking
To raise good cholesterol levels (HDL), it is recommended that men should have no more than one drink a day. In addition, smoking has been linked to heart disease, so the sooner you quit, the better. In fact, after just three years of not smoking, your risk of developing heart disease becomes equal to that of a nonsmoker.
Lower the risk of heart disease with exercise and by controlling high blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes.
The following steps may help reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Regular exercise strengthens the heart, lowers bad cholesterol (LDL), raises good cholesterol (HDL), and lowers blood pressure.
- You need to exercise at least 30 minutes a day at least three to five days a week.
- Control high blood pressure and diabetes: If you have diabetes, keep blood sugars under control.
- Control high cholesterol with diet, exercise and drugs (if required)