Reduce your Risk of Heart Disease
As a cardiologist, we have a special interest in preventive cardiology and helping individuals achieve heart health. Through education and action, we can all lead healthier and more productive lives. Here are some simple steps.
Step #1 Stay Physically Active
- Walk for at least 30 minutes a day. Try taking a 10-minute walk before or after breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Walking offers numerous health benefits, even beyond your heart.
Step #2 Watch what you eat
- Vegetables and fruits
- Whole grains: oats/ oatmeal, brown rice, wild rice, whole wheat, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, and corn.
- Fat-free (skim) and low-fat (1%) dairy products.
- Skinless chicken and fish.
- Select meat substitutes such as dried beans, peas, lentils or tofu.
- Beans and legumes: black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans and lentils.
- Nuts (unsalted): almonds, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, walnuts and hazelnuts.
- Healthy cooking oils: olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, sesame oil and peanut oil.
- Limit saturated fats, trans-fat and red meat. If you choose to eat red meat, select the leanest cuts available.
- Limit salt and sodium intake. Choose low-sodium, low-fat seasonings such as spices and herbs.
- Limit sugar, sweets and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Step #3 Do not Smoke tobacco and avoid Secondhand smoke
Step #4 Monitor key factors that point to early warning signs
- Have your blood pressure checked every 1-2 years
- Know your cholesterol numbers
- Watch your weight and ask your health care provider if you should be screened for diabetes.
There are many paths to prevention. Hopefully, some of them are suitable to your lifestyle, making it more heart healthy
Medical experts have identified seven cardiac risk factors: High blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, diet, smoking, obesity and sedentary lifestyle.
A cardiologist can help if you have any symptoms of concern, including pain, pressure or burning in the chest, difficulty breathing, worsening fatigue, palpitations, lightheadedness and passing out. If any of these symptoms are related to exertion that would be especially concerning.