Heart Tip 1: Adopt a Heart-healthy Diet
You really are what you eat. If you dine on a steady flow of bacon and eggs, cheeseburgers, French fries and Twinkies, then you and your heart aren't going to be in the best condition. Adopting a heart-healthy diet is the most important thing you can do to benefit your ticker. It will help you to lower your blood pressure and cholesterol and limit the amount of bad fat you take in.
As far as a broad approach goes, try to get as far away from processed foods as possible. The closer your four food groups are to their original, unprocessed form the better. It's called a whole foods lifestyle. Include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and eat fish at least twice a week. Salmon is your best bet for supplying your heart with healthy omega-3 fatty acids that will help you reduce arterial plaque. Whole grains like oatmeal and whole wheat bread are a must as well.
Legumes like beans and lentils are loaded with protein, fiber, iron and calcium and are free of fat and cholesterol. Nuts are packed with antioxidants, omega-3s, fiber and vitamin E, among other things. The important thing is to not think of it as a diet, but as a lifestyle change. Stay away from boxed food, head for the fruit and veggie aisle, and you're on your way to making sure there are no ambulances in your future.
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More Great Links
- "Aspirin in Heart Attack and Stroke Prevention." American Heart Association, 2008.http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=4456
- Bauer, Joy. "Five ways you can avoid a heart attack." msnbc.com. Oct. 4, 2007.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21128090/
- Bude, Christine. "15 Steps to Avoid a Heart Attack." Associated Content. 2008.http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/176543/15_steps_to_avoid_a_heart_attack.html?cat=5
- "Carbon Monoxide Found Harmful at Low Levels." New York Times. Nov. 24, 1989.http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=950DE2D61F3AF937A15752C1A96F948260
- "Detecting 'Silent Killers': Preventive Screenings That Can Save Your Life." medicalnewstoday.com. Dec. 6, 2006.http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/58299.php
- "Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet." americanheart.org. 2008.http://americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=1510
- "Heart Attack." Mayoclinic.com. 2008.http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heartattack/DS00094/DSECTION=prevention
- "High Blood Pressure." americanheart.org. 2008.http://www.americanheart.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=2114
- Hosbon, Catherine. "6 Ways to Avoid Dying of a Surprise Heart Attack." U.S. News and World Report. June 18, 2008.http://health.usnews.com/articles/health/heart/2008/06/18/6-ways-to-avoid-dying-of-a-surprise-heart-attack.html
- "How Can a Heart Attack Be Prevented?" U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 2008.http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/dci/Diseases/HeartAttack/HeartAttack_Prevention.html
- "Is An Aspirin A Day Good For You?" sciencedaily.com. Jan. 13, 2008.http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/01/080111202625.htm
- Mahr, Krista. "How Stress Harms Your Heart." Nov. 1, 2007.http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1678678,00.html
- "Preventive Screening Tests and Immunizations." womenshealth.goc. 2008.http://www.womenshealth.gov/screeningcharts/men/
- "Should I take daily aspirin to prevent a heart attack or a stroke?" webmd.com. 2008.http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/should-i-take-daily-aspirin-to-prevent-a- heart-attack-or-a-stroke
- "Stress: Win control over the stress in your life." mayoclinic.com. 2008.http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/stress/SR00001
- Van Dusen, Allison. "How To Avoid A Heart Attack." forbes.com. March 7, 2007.http://www.forbes.com/health/2007/03/06/health-heart-avoid-forbeslife- cx_avd_0307heartattack.html
How are skipping breakfast and atherosclerosis related? Learn about the results of a new study in this HowStuffWorks article.