Know Your Risks for Heart Disease – Choose a Healthier Lifestyle

By: Crystal Shelton – Senior Scientific Researcher | Scientific Affairs

Heart disease (or CVD – cardiovascular disease) is used to describe a number of conditions such as:  coronary heart disease, coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, angina, hypertension, and congestive heart failure. These are all familiar terms that we associate as problems with the heart but they are all linked to similar risk factors.

 

You are at higher risk for heart disease if you:  

–  Smoke

–  Weigh 20 or more pounds over your ideal weight

–  Lead an inactive lifestyle

–  Consume a poor diet – high in total and saturated fat and low in fruits and vegetables

–  Have high blood lipid and cholesterol levels

–  Have high blood pressure

–  Have high homocysteine levels

–  Have metabolic syndrome or diabetes.

 

The lifestyle choices you make can have a dramatic effect on your overall health and can either increase or decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease. Make the healthy choice:

  1. Do not smoke
  2. Maintain a healthy weight throughout your lifetime
  3. Eat a proper diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains and limit your consumption of total and saturated fat.
  4. Eat a variety of healthy foods and watch your portion sizes
  5. Take a multi-vitamin to ensure your micronutrient needs are met.
  6. Exercise regularly (most days of the week for at least 30 minutes)
  7. Closely monitor your cholesterol, blood pressure, homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels.