Category: Heart Health

4 Ways to Keep Your Heart Healthy & Strong

Stethoscope next to a pin of the heart disease logo.

What claims more lives in the United States than any other disease? Heart disease. It encompasses a range of lethal conditions like coronary artery disease, angina, heart attacks, and congestive heart failure. But amidst this grim reality lies the undeniable power you have to improve your heart health. Here are four strategies that can dramatically lower your risk of heart disease.

1. Choose Foods That Fight Hypertension

The American Heart Association endorses the DASH diet, a strategic eating plan designed to combat hypertension, one of the biggest contributors to heart disease. It emphasizes lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and a generous variety of fruits and vegetables while avoiding the pitfalls of excess sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Here are some nutrient-packed foods DASH focuses on:

Whole Grains 

Grains like brown rice, oats, quinoa, and barely haven’t been stripped of their goodness through processing, refining, or milling. They are chock-full of fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants that can lower bad cholesterol levels, keep your blood pressure in check, and improve blood sugar control. They’ll fill you up without piling on calories, making them the perfect sidekick for anyone looking to lose weight


Which vegetables can help lower your risk of heart disease? Start with broccoli, known for its fiber and antioxidant content. Carrots are another excellent choice, offering both fiber and antioxidants. Spinach is also packed with vitamins, antioxidants, magnesium, and potassium.


Fruit is known as an all-around healthy food, but certain ones are particularly amazing for your heart:

  1. Berries: Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are all rich in antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which protect against oxidative stress and inflammation that contribute to heart disease development. 
  1. Apples: High in fiber and polyphenol antioxidants, apples can help reduce blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels.
  2. Citrus Fruits: Oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are excellent sources of vitamin C, flavonoids, and fiber, contributing to lower risk of heart disease by improving cholesterol levels and reducing blood pressure.
  3. Avocados: Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocados can lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol.
  4. Tomatoes: Although often considered a vegetable, tomatoes are technically a fruit and are high in lycopene, potassium, and vitamins C and E, which are important for heart health.
  5. Bananas: Known for their high potassium content, bananas can help manage blood pressure and reduce strain on the heart.
  6. Pomegranates: They are packed with antioxidants that can help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and other risk factors for heart disease.
  7. Kiwi: This small fruit is a nutrient powerhouse, high in vitamins C and E, potassium, and fiber. It’s also been linked to improvements in cholesterol and blood pressure.

2. Do Heart-Healthy Workouts

Aerobic and muscle-strengthening workouts take the spotlight for their exceptional benefits to heart health. One particularly beneficial type of aerobic activity is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). In HIIT, you alternate between short bursts of high-intensity exercise and brief periods of rest or low-intensity activity. This variety is more effective than traditional aerobic exercise at improving cardiovascular health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

Muscle strength exercises play a crucial role in warding off heart disease by bolstering cardiovascular health, slimming down body fat, stabilizing blood sugar, reducing blood pressure, and minimizing the risks associated with obesity and diabetes. Begin fortifying your muscle strength through light weights or bodyweight exercises. As you gain strength, elevate the intensity of your workouts by increasing the weight, adding more repetitions, or introducing complex movements. Achieve balanced muscle development by incorporating exercises that target your upper body, lower body, and core. Your overall aim should be to push your muscles to grow stronger while carefully avoiding injury.

Ever realize how exercise, heart health, and vein health are all connected? Together, they’re a powerhouse trio in the fight against heart disease. When you dive into heart-healthy workouts, you’re doing more than just giving your veins a boost with better blood flow and cardiovascular efficiency. These activities help keep heart troubles at bay by stopping blood from pooling, reducing the pressure on your veins, and keeping the blood flowing smoothly. Controlling your blood sugar and preventing damage from high glucose levels further strengthens your vascular system. This all-around effort dramatically cuts down your heart disease risk, uplifting your overall heart health.

3. Find Your Inner Peace

We all know that stress isn’t beneficial for your mental health, but how does it affect your risk of heart disease? By triggering a surge of hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These stress hormones prepare your body for a “fight or flight” response by increasing your heart rate and blood pressure. If you experience this kind of activation all the time, it can cause inflammation and other conditions that increase the risk of heart disease. The ways you dodge stress could also be secretly sabotaging your heart health. Coping mechanisms for chronic stress such as overeating, smoking, or heavy drinking can lead to obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol—all risk factors for heart disease.

In a perfect world, you’d just zap away all the big stress triggers in your lives—money worries, job hassles, never-ending chores. But since you probably can’t eliminate these stressors from your life entirely, mindfulness is the next best trick. Embracing mindfulness means living in the now by fully tuning into your thoughts, emotions, and everything around you. It’s often paired with meditation, a practice focused on dialing up your mental clarity and cooling down the chaos inside. Mindfulness cuts through stress, steadies your emotions, and enhances well-being by anchoring you in the present moment, rather than fixating on the past or future.

4. Get a Handle on Your Cholesterol

While cholesterol is essential for bodily functions, excessive levels in the blood can lead to an elevated risk of heart disease. Cholesterol is broken down into two main players: LDL and HDL. People call LDL the “bad” cholesterol because when there’s too much of it, it can clog up your arteries, upping your risk for heart complications. HDL is the “good” guy because it clears excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and transports it to the liver for processing and elimination. 

How can you assess your cholesterol status? By undergoing a cholesterol check to uncover your heart disease risk factors. Experts suggest getting tested every 4 to 6 years, but if you’re at greater risk, do it annually. This way you can have a chat with your doctor about your results and if needed, work on a game plan to get your cholesterol levels where they should be.

Keys to a Heart-Healthy Future and Lower Risk of Heart Disease

Despite the lingering threat of heart disease, you possess the power to seize control of your heart health. By adopting a heart-healthy lifestyle, including dietary changes, regular exercise, stress management, and cholesterol monitoring, you can effectively lower your risk of heart disease and embark on a journey towards a healthier and happier life.

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Cholesterol Test: A Lifesaving Screening You Should Not Ignore

Graphic of person getting a cholesterol test.

Cholesterol: a health buzzword that you probably know is all about the food you eat and the genes you’ve got in your DNA. You’re likely aware that soaring cholesterol levels are far from ideal. Yet, amidst the vast array of nutrient deficiencies and bewildering health disorders, why should cholesterol reign supreme as one of our paramount health preoccupations? 

The answer lies in the myriad of crucial tasks cholesterol takes on. It’s not just a hormone synthesizer or a cell constructor, oh no! Cholesterol is a bona fide essential component that we absolutely cannot survive without. Its presence, in just the right amount, is fundamental to our survival. Ensuring that our cholesterol levels are within the desired range is a cornerstone of optimal health. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the captivating world of cholesterol that you absolutely can’t afford to ignore!

From Food to Genes: Understanding the Intricacies of Cholesterol

Getting your cholesterol levels checked not only grants you access to the intricacies of your cardiovascular health. It also provides insight into those sneaky risk factors for heart disease. Getting a cholesterol test is like having a personal detective inspect your bloodstream, uncovering clues and whispers of potential health hazards. And fortunately, getting tested for cholesterol is a breeze! 

To get your cholesterol tested, you can swing by your doctor’s office, where a quick blood draw unveils the secrets of your lipid profile. Or, if you fancy the cozy comfort of your own living quarters, there are home testing kits. By following the simple instructions on the kit, your samples can be whisked away to a laboratory for analysis.

How to Decode the Cholesterol Puzzle

Cholesterol test results are reported in two different units of measurement: milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). These numerical values work their mathematical magic, providing a quantitative assessment of the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, which are types of fats found in the bloodstream that serve as forms of energy storage, swirling around in your blood.

Cholesterol test results will reveal the levels of your total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and HDL cholesterol. Aiming for the gold standard of cholesterol and triglyceride levels? Fear not, for specific ranges are here to guide you to a heart-healthy triumph:

  • Total cholesterol: Below 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) is generally considered favorable.
  • LDL cholesterol (often referred to as “bad” cholesterol): Ideally below 100 mg/dL.
  • HDL cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol):
    • Men: Aim for levels of 40 mg/dL or higher.
    • Women: Aim for levels of 50 mg/dL or higher.
  • Triglycerides: Recommended to keep levels below 150 mg/dL.

Consequences of Imbalanced Cholesterol and Triglyceride Levels

High cholesterol can significantly raise your risk of heart disease, including conditions such as coronary artery disease and peripheral artery disease. These agonizing conditions can impede blood flow, leading to reduced oxygen and nutrient supply to the heart and other organs. And if this wasn’t frightening enough, individuals with high cholesterol levels are also more susceptible to strokes and pancreatitis, an inflammation of the pancreas that can cause severe abdominal pain and digestive issues.

When your cholesterol is too low, you’re a sitting duck for cardiovascular diseases and strokes. Plus, low cholesterol can spark hormonal drama and even impact liver and gallbladder function. Your body also needs cholesterol to absorb certain vitamins. When levels are too low, your minerals may become less effective, impacting your overall health.

High levels of triglycerides contribute to the same smorgasbord of health issues as high cholesterol. These include heart disease, stroke, and a variety of other unwelcome party crashers. Low-level triglycerides aren’t all that innocent either. These can contribute to various underlying conditions such as nutritional deficiencies, hyperthyroidism, celiac disease, pancreatic insufficiency, liver disease, or inflammatory issues. Just like cholesterol, it’s a juggling act with triglycerides. Maintaining a balanced level is the secret to good health.

Understanding the Factors Behind Your Cholesterol Levels

Diet and nutrition are like the steering wheel to your cholesterol levels, driving them up and down depending on what nutrients you fuel your body with. Bite into foods high in saturated and trans fats, and whoosh—your LDL cholesterol levels zoom up faster than a loop-de-loop. But, couch potato-ing your way through life? That’s a one-way ticket to Cholesterol Imbalance Land, causing your LDL to shoot up and your HDL to plummet. 

Genetic factors also play a crucial role in cholesterol regulation. They’re the unsung heroes of cholesterol regulation. In the spotlight is Familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that hampers your body’s cholesterol processing efficiency. If you’re a member of this exclusive club, your LDL cholesterol levels may be scaling the heights, setting you up for a less-than-thrilling encounter with heart disease. But with genetic testing and intervention, you could start managing your cholesterol levels as early as 20.

Crafting a Cholesterol-Balancing Diet

Step into the thrilling realm of heart-healthy cuisine, where each bite you savor is a stride towards achieving balanced cholesterol levels. Initiate your culinary journey by hosting a vibrant gathering of fruits and vegetables, complemented by nutritious whole grains and lean protein sources.

Awaken your plates with an enticing sizzle of exotic herbs and spices such as golden turmeric, bold garlic, and sweet cinnamon. These culinary champions not only bolster your health but also delight your taste buds. Round off your cholesterol-fighting feast with a splash of low-fat dairy, a sprinkle of nuts and seeds, and a cheeky nibble of dark chocolate. This flavorful assembly serves as your passport to a balanced, cholesterol-conscious lifestyle.

Incorporating monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats into your diet is also great for your cholesterol levels. These elevate your HDL cholesterol levels, turning your body into a cholesterol-busting powerhouse. Here are some nutritious fats you should be welcoming onto your plate:

Monounsaturated Fats:

  • Olive oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts like almonds, peanuts, and cashews
  • Seeds like sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds
  • Peanut butter
  • Canola oil

Polyunsaturated fats:

  • Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, and sardines
  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Soybean oil

Elevate Your Workout Routine

Achieve optimal cholesterol health by embracing a variety of exercises. Emphasize the classics like running, cycling, swimming, and aerobics. Or take your fitness journey to new heights by infusing an electrifying blend of interval, strength, and circuit training. Feel the rush as you conquer sprint intervals, Tabata workouts, weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises, all while fueling your endurance through cardio strength training. By revitalizing your cardiovascular system, these dynamic workouts play a pivotal role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. 

Lifestyle Modifications for Optimal Health

Embracing a few key lifestyle changes can wield a powerful influence on cholesterol levels. If you’re a smoker, liberating yourself from the clutches of this harmful habit is highly recommended, as smoking can impede HDL cholesterol and inflict damage on your blood vessels. When it comes to alcohol, navigating intake can be a delicate balancing act: women are often encouraged to savor just a single drink a day, while men can indulge in up to two. But for those battling high cholesterol, a resolute farewell to alcohol may be your ticket to optimal health.

Safeguarding Your Cardiovascular Health with Cholesterol Tests

Regular cholesterol testing and comprehending the results are crucial for maintaining optimal cardiovascular health. It is recommended to undergo testing every 4 to 6 years, or annually for higher-risk individuals, to stay well-informed about your cholesterol levels and make informed decisions regarding your overall health.

By embracing essential lifestyle modifications and seeking guidance from medical experts, you can fortify your well-being and significantly reduce the risk of heart-related complications. Prioritizing cholesterol health and taking proactive steps empowers individuals to pave their own path towards a future brimming with heart-healthy vitality.

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Low vs High Blood Pressure: What’s Your Blood Pressure Category?

Man monitoring his blood pressure.

May is National Blood Pressure Month. Are you finding yourself totally unaware of your own blood pressure status? If so, you’re in the right place. We’re here to tell you why you should be paying attention to what your blood pressure is and how to check on it. 

If you happen to have a blood pressure status that puts you at risk for some gruesome health conditions, we’ll show you how to forge your way back to normal blood pressure levels. Let’s start this journey of self-health discovery by discussing the differences between low vs high blood pressure.

How To Tell the Difference Between High and Low Blood Pressure

There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know what blood pressure is. So for those of us who didn’t study cardiology, blood pressure is the force that blood applies to the walls of your arteries as it rushes through your body. And what are arteries again? They are the blood vessels that transport oxygenated blood from your heart to the rest of your cells. 

When you have high blood pressure, otherwise known as hypertension, this force is excessively high. Hypertension can lead to some brutal health issues. Alternatively, low blood pressure occurs when the force of your blood is too low. Low blood pressure doesn’t cause many health issues but can have some pesky side effects that we’ll discuss later on.

So how can you determine whether you have low, high, or normal blood pressure? By examining your systolic and diastolic numbers. 

Deciphering Systolic and Diastolic Numbers

When you get a blood pressure test, two numbers will show up. The systolic number is the higher one. It correlates with the pressure that’s applied to your arteries when your heart beats. The diastolic number is the lower value. It measures the pressure that’s applied to your arteries when your heart is resting between beats. Low blood pressures have a systolic number that’s 90 or below whereas a higher blood pressure would be 120 or higher. Lower blood pressure on the diastolic scale would be 60 or less and a higher one would be 80 or higher. 

Is this number system a little tedious? Perhaps. But since your heart is literally the most important organ in your body, making sure that it’s beating at a normal pace can be truly life-saving. Especially if you have abnormally high blood pressure. As you can see in the chart below, there are different ranges of numbers within the high blood pressure category. As the numbers get higher, so does your risk of having major health issues. So if you have a systolic number over 180 and a diastolic number over 120, get your doctor on the phone stat!

Where To Get a Blood Pressure Test

Clearly, knowing your blood pressure status is of utmost importance. After all, it can help determine if you are at risk for some supremely unfun diseases. But first, you need to know how to get one:

  1. Doctor’s Office: One of the most reliable places to get your blood pressure tested is at your primary care clinic. It’s such a basic procedure your doctor could probably do it in their sleep—but don’t worry, they won’t. They’ll simply wrap a cuff around your arm, listen to your heartbeat with a stethoscope, and inflate and deflate the cuff to measure your blood pressure. 
  2. Pharmacy: You’ve probably seen a blood pressure device at a drugstore before. It’s a chair with a cuff attached to it that shoppers can use to measure their blood pressure while they look for shampoo and bandaids. Though quick and convenient, don’t take its outcome as law. If your blood pressure results come as a major surprise to you, it’s best to get a second reading from your doctor.
  3. Home Blood Pressure Monitor: The most convenient option of all is home blood pressure tests. These allow you to monitor your blood pressure from the comfort of your humble abode. When using these, be sure to follow the instructions closely and get a second opinion if needed.

Low vs High Blood Pressure: Understanding the Causes

It’s time to focus on taking preventative steps in caring for your blood pressure health. This starts by knowing what your pressure type really means and what it can indicate about your health. Let’s begin by learning about the less menacing of the two: low blood pressure. 

Living with Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, or hypotension, can be caused by dehydration, blood loss, heart problems, endocrine disorders, alcohol use, or certain medications such as:

  • Anti-anxiety medicines
  • Antidepressants
  • Diuretics
  • Painkillers

Do you have low blood pressure and are currently taking any of these medications? Then consult with your doctor to see if you need to part ways with your prescription.

Though having lower blood pressure than the norm may seem like a downer, it’s not really a health risk in and of itself. The problem lies more in the symptoms it causes. This can include lightheadedness, blurry vision, fainting, shallow breathing, dizziness, lack of concentration, and confusion—probably not anything you want to deal with on a regular basis! If you are experiencing these symptoms fairly often, here are some things you can do to help increase your blood pressure:

  • Increase Sodium Intake: Unlike many heart-related health issues, consuming more salt can actually be good for those with low blood pressure. 
  • Wear Compression Stockings: Low blood pressure can stem from circulation and blood flow issues. This can be solved by wearing compression stockings, which prevent blood from pooling in your legs and help raise blood pressure. 
  • Get Regular Exercise: Working out also helps with circulation and blood volume.
  • Avoid Hot Water: Hot showers and baths lead to blood vessel dilation, which can cause blood pressure to drop. So opt for a cooler temperature while bathing.

Monitoring Your High Blood Pressure

Hypertension is frankly a bigger issue than low blood pressure. So if this is what your blood pressure test reads, it’s time to examine the cause. It could be any of the following:

  • Age: The older you get, the more likely your blood pressure is to increase.
  • Family history: If members of your family have had hypertension, you’re consequently more likely to develop it. 
  • Obesity: People who are overweight are much more likely to have high blood pressure. And as obesity tends to be linked to inactivity, those who don’t get enough exercise increase their chances of hypertension.
  • Tobacco and Alcohol Consumption: Smoking and drinking are both contributors to increased blood pressure. 
  • Too much Salt: Unlike with low blood pressure, salt can be a bad thing for those with hypertension as excess amounts can increase your chances of developing it. Try flavoring your food with alternative seasonings or make up for the salt with extra pepper!
  • Stress and Sleep Apnea: Are you a high-stress, low-sleep individual? Managing stress and getting quality sleep is important to avoid a blood pressure spike.
  • Chronic Health Conditions: Kidney disease, high cholesterol, and diabetes are all conditions that can cause hypertension.

Based on what we mentioned above, it should be no surprise that quitting alcohol and tobacco, losing weight, getting more exercise, and cutting down on salt can help lower blood pressure. But diet plays a large part too. Here are some nutrients you should get better acquainted with:

  • High-potassium foods like avocados, spinach, sweet potatoes, and bananas.
  • Whole-wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, and other whole grains.
  • Lean proteins such as fish, legumes, and skinless chicken.
  • Blood pressure-lowering drinks like green tea and hibiscus tea.
  • Dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa to substitute for milk chocolate.

There is plenty of other blood pressure-lowering diet changes you can make to improve your overall health. Unfortunately, this includes limiting the intake of sugary, caffeinated, fried, processed, and generally fatty foods and beverages. This doesn’t mean you’ll never have a donut or milkshake again. It’ll just be a more occasional, and thus a more appreciated treat. 

Low or High, Kiss Your Irregular Blood Pressure Goodbye

Don’t spend too much time worrying about your low or high blood pressure. After all, stress is one of the main causes. You should instead focus on doing all you can to bring your blood pressure to a normal level. This means monitoring your daily habits, adjusting your diet, and putting in more time at the gym—all things that will make you feel good anyway!Still don’t know what your blood pressure level is? Make time with your primary care doctor and find out ASAP to ensure a healthy life!

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Understanding Your Risk for Heart Disease

Woman sitting in a field eating an apple

Here’s a sad truth we must confront this American Heart Month: heart disease is the leading cause of death in the US. Because of this, it’s important to assess your susceptibility. Treating heart disease can be expensive and emotionally draining. But it’s not impossible to live with if you take the right approach. 

Heart disease describes any condition affecting your heart and blood vessels. These conditions reduce blood flow to your heart and increase your chances of stroke and heart attack. Many factors can contribute to the development of heart disease from existing cardiovascular risks to certain lifestyle choices. Luckily, there are actions you can take to reduce your risk. But before discussing preventive measures, let’s explain how, why, and to whom heart disease occurs.

How Does Heart Disease Develop?

To understand heart disease, it’s important to know how the heart works. This all-important organ is made up of the atria and ventricles, both of which there are two. The atria reside at the top of the heart organ, transporting oxygenated blood from right to left. The blood then travels to your left ventricle to pump the blood out of your body. The right ventricle transports blood back to your lungs, giving it the oxygen it needs to survive.

Within the structure of your heart, there is a system of arteries transporting blood. When plaque fills up the arteries, your blood flow is impaired. Plaque consists of fatty substances, cholesterol, cellular waste products, calcium, and fibrin. They all pile up within the walls of your arteries. This narrowing of passageways for blood to travel through is called atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis can cause major problems within your heart. A piece of plaque can snap off and flow into your bloodstream. If it gets stuck in another part of the artery, it can cause a blood clot. Blood clots can lead to heart attacks, deep vein thrombosis, or pulmonary embolism. 

Atherosclerosis is a symptom of all major heart conditions. Let’s get into the different forms of heart disease and their effect on your body.

What Conditions Does Heart Disease Cause?

Several conditions lie under the umbrella of heart disease: 

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Heart attack
  • Arrhythmia
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Hypertension

Coronary Artery Disease 

Coronary artery disease happens when plaque creates narrowed or blocked arteries, which then reduces blood flow to your heart. Coronary artery disease is a direct result of atherosclerosis developing in your arteries. Chest pain, heart attack, irregular heartbeat, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and enlarged heart muscles also stem from coronary artery disease.

Heart Attack

Heart attacks are a very serious and deadly form of heart disease that occurs when clots block the blood flow to your heart. When an artery’s blood supply is completely cut off, the heart muscle that it’s connected to begins to die. 

The severity of damage caused depends on the size of the affected heart muscle. The bigger the heart muscle, the greater the injury. And the longer you wait to seek treatment, the more damage occurs. 

Heart attacks can be fatal if the muscle is blocked for too long. When the heart muscle dies, it’s impossible for your heart to pump enough blood to the rest of your body. This then causes organ failure, cardiac arrest, and ultimately death.


Arrhythmia occurs when you have an irregular heartbeat. The electrical signals that regulate your beat don’t work properly. This causes the heart to beat too fast or too slow, thus disturbing blood flow. Arrhythmia decreases your oxygen supply and can lead to cardiac arrest or stroke. 

Congenital Heart Disease

Congenital heart disease is caused by abnormalities that are present at birth when the structure of your heart is misshapen. This prevents normal blood flow to your heart. Abnormalities in the heart walls, valves, and blood vessels often lead to this disease.


Hypertension is any heart condition caused by high blood pressure. When the pressure inside the arteries is high, the heart has to work extra hard to pump blood. This makes the muscle inside your heart too thick to get enough oxygen. This can lead to chest pain and even heart failure. 

Hypertension can narrow your arteries, cause damage to your inner lining, and thicken your blood vessel walls. These interactions with the cholesterol in your blood vessels can cause a heart attack or stroke to occur. 

What Risks Contribute to Heart Disease?

There are many factors that contribute to the development of heart disease. Common vices like smoking, poor diet, and low levels of exercise often play a role. But many people with optimal health habits are also prone to contracting heart disease. Here’s a breakdown of heart disease risks and what you can do to combat them. 


It’s no shock that smoking is bad for you. The carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke reduces the oxygen capacity of your blood. Nicotine raises blood pressure, which leads to hypertension. Considering other health problems that cigarettes can cause, quitting smoking can be a positive step in preventing all kinds of ailments including heart disease. 


Foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol can cause plaque buildup. High-sodium snacks can also raise blood pressure. Switching to a health plan of nutrients like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, vegetable oils, and lean proteins are a great way to decrease your risk of heart disease. 


Getting regular exercise, especially cardiovascular, is like recharging the battery of your heart. It lets more blood pump through your body, allowing it to work at its most efficient level. It also helps your arteries and blood vessels stay in optimal shape. This maintains proper blood flow and stable blood pressure. 

Family History of Heart Disease

Your family’s health history can contribute to your risk of heart disease. Arrhythmia is one of the most common inherited disorders. It encompasses the following heart conditions:

  • Long QT syndrome
  • Brugada syndrome
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome 

Common signs of arrhythmia include heart palpitations, fainting, and blackouts. Some people may never experience these symptoms, which is why taking measures towards heart disease prevention is essential.

Avoiding smoking and improving your diet and exercise can be helpful to those with inherited heart conditions. Getting your cholesterol checked is also important, especially if you have a family history of high blood cholesterol.Your cholesterol test results will help you assess your risk of heart disease. For some people, medication and surgical procedures may be necessary. 

Fighting off the Risks of Heart Disease

Lifestyle choices and preexisting conditions can put you at an increased risk for heart disease. Improving your daily habits, getting better nutrition, and seeking medical help when needed can reduce these risks. Following the heart health tips above is a powerful step you can take to improve your cardiovascular health.

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