Heart disease is a serious problem that world is facing. It is in fact, one of the leading causes of death for both men and women in developed countries. Some people are at a higher risk of developing heart disease than others. The risk factors for heart disease include family history, age and gender. Fortunately, there are measures one can take to lower the chances of the disease. In this article we will deal with prevention of heart disease and list five basic steps you can follow to avoid this condition.
Use of tobacco significantly affects health. It may lead to numerous ailments such as heart problems. Tobacco contains chemicals which are particularly detrimental to the heart and blood vessels and may lead to high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, heart disease and stroke. These conditions may also result out of secondhand smoke or use of smokeless tobacco and low-tar and low-nicotine cigarettes. Risk of heart attack and stroke is elevated in women who smoke and use oral contraceptive pills, especially in that above the age of 35. After quitting, this risk considerably drops within just one year.
Physical activity is very important for healthy heart. A person can prevent heart-related problems by exercising for at least 30 minutes each day. This preventive measure along with healthy diet can help to lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol which all contribute to heart disease.
Eat Healthy Diet
Heart function can be improved by following a special diet known as the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH). This diet includes foods low in fat, cholesterol and salt as well as fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat dairy products. Foods that are harmful to the heart are those high in saturated, polyunsaturated, monosaturated and trans fat. This includes food like red meat, dairies, fried foods, snacks, margarines and bakery products. On the other hand, omega-3 fatty acids are recommended and can be obtained from fish such as salmon and mackerel, canola oil, soybean oil and walnut oil.
Control Your Weight
It is important to maintain healthy weight as overweight and obese people are susceptible to hypertension, high cholesterol and diabetes which increase the risk of a heart disease. Healthy weight is measured by body mass index (BMI), which is calculated using hight and weight of a person. People with BMI ranging between 18 and 25 are considered to have normal weight. If this number is higher, the person must try to lose some weight with adequate diet and physical activity in order to avoid heart disease and other conditions. Weight reduction even for 10% considerably lowers this risk.
Get Regular Screenings
It is very important to have regular health checkups to avoid heart problems. Blood pressure screenings should be done at least every two years. Cholesterol levels should be measured at least once in every five years from the age of 29. Diabetes screening should be done once every three to five years, starting from the age between 30 and 45.