There are habits you can change right now to protect yourself from heart disease.
Despite the fact that heart disease is the leading cause of death in both men and women in the US, there are still many risk factors that you can minimize through leading a healthier lifestyle. While our West Monroe, LA, cardiologist, Dr. Virginia Gonzalez, would be happy to sit down and discuss the ways you can improve your heart health, here’s what you should know about preventing heart disease,
What are the risk factors for heart disease?
Risk factors for heart disease fall into two categories: factors you can’t control and factors that you can. For example, uncontrollable factors include,
- Ethnicity and race
- Family history
Fortunately, there are many factors related to heart disease that you can control. In fact, around 80 percent of cardiovascular disease cases can be prevented. Along with maintaining regular checkups with our West Monroe, LA, heart doctor to make sure that you are doing what you can to prevent heart disease, here are some of the major factors to focus on,
It’s recommended that people get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week. Of course, it’s important to recognize that this is the bare minimum that everyone should be doing. This means that getting even more exercise and ramping up your routine with some high-intensity workouts will improve your heart health even more. If starting a new workout routine feels daunting, you can also break up your workout into more digestible pieces. For example, taking a brisk 10-15-minute walk, 2-3 times a day.
You should focus on a diet that incorporates only whole, unprocessed plant-based foods into your diet. Limit red and processed meats (e.g. lunch meats; bacon). A plant-based diet focuses on eating lots of vegetables, some fruits, nuts, and legumes, lean proteins (e.g. salmon or skinless chicken), and non-fat dairy. Foods that are rich in vitamins, nutrients, and fiber can reduce bad cholesterol also reduce your risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Know Your Numbers
When was the last time your doctor checked your cholesterol? Do you know your blood pressure? Regardless of your risk, it’s important that you visit a cardiologist at least once a year (more regularly if you have health problems or at an increased risk for heart disease) so that you know your cholesterol and blood pressure levels. Since high blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase your risk for heart disease, it’s important to get these health problems under control.
Protect against heart disease by leading a healthy life. To learn more about your risk for heart disease and how to reduce that risk, contact Cardiovascular Diagnostic Center for a consultation: (318) 338-3540.