Prevention is Key to Heart Disease

1. Quit Smoking

 Smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States and is linked to not only lung cancer but also heart disease, stroke and other chronic diseases. With over 5,000 chemicals present in cigarette smoke, it is evident that quitting smoking can save your life. For tips on how to quit, visit https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking-tobacco/how-smoking-and-nicotine-damage-your-body

2. Monitor Your Blood Pressure

Many people with high blood pressure are not even aware that they have it, but high blood pressure is called the "silent killer" for good reason. Over half of Americans have high blood pressure and when left untreated, the condition is a significant contributing factor to heart attacks, stroke and other major health concerns.  Lower your blood pressure with these tips and tricks from the American Heart Association by visiting https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/high-blood-pressure/commit-to-a-plan-to-lower-your-blood-pressure

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight increases your risk factor for heart disease so it's no secret that maintaining a healthy weight is better for overall health. Even losing just a few pounds makes a huge difference. By setting a healthy weight goal and achieving it, your body is already making positive changes. You are less likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and other serious health conditions and you'll continue to feel better about yourself and be motivated to make even more positive changes. The American Heart Association gives you five easy steps to losing weight and being healthier: 
https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/losing-weight/5-steps-to-lose-weight-and-keep-it-off

4. Monitor Your Cholesterol

High cholesterol is one of the major factors contributing to heart disease - but it's controllable! By changing diet and lifestyle, you can improve your cholesterol levels. Reducing saturated and trans fats in your diet can drastically decrease your cholesterol levels. Some recommendations from the American Heart Association include limiting your intake of red meat and dairy products made with whole milk. Cooking with healthy oils, such as vegetable oil, and changing your diet to emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry; fish and nuts can also improve your cholesterol levels. Additionally, a diet high in fiber can reduce cholesterol levels by as much as 10 percent. Read more about monitoring and lowering your cholesterol levels at https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/prevention-and-treatment-of-high-cholesterol-hyperlipidemia

 5. Control Your Blood Sugar

Untreated diabetes can lead to heart disease and other serious medical problems. Because of the higher rate of obesity and physical inactivity in the United States, both adolescents and adults are developing Type 2 diabetes at an increasingly alarming rate. According to the American Heart Association, studies show that losing weight, eating healthy and increasing physical activity, can drastically reduce the progression of Type 2 diabetes. These lifestyle changes also help prevent heart disease and other serious medical conditions. Learn about controlling your blood sugar at https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/diabetes/prevention--treatment-of-diabetes

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