What Habits Can Prevent Heart Disease?

What Habits Can Prevent Heart Disease?

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Even though we have many information on healthy diets and risk factors of heart disease, a percentage of cardiovascular disease is still extremely high. According to medical experts, it is not only diet, but our lifestyle that can prevent heart disease. They think good habits can help to decrease the risk. The recommendations are well known – eat more fruits and vegetables, quit smoking, drink less, and exercise. However, when it comes to diet, there are so many opposite information that leave us confused about the right choice of food. It is hard to make a sense of all of them. But, in the last few years, more and more studies gravitate toward Mediterranean diet as the healthiest diet not only for our heart, but in general. This type of diet consists of fresh fruits and vegetables, a lot of fish, olives, nuts, and wine. Furthermore, traditional Mediterranean diet contains animal proteins and fats such as dairy, especially cheese, then eggs and even red meat. According to nutritionists, there is nothing wrong with saturated fats, but only if they are from natural sources and from grass-fed animals. On the other hand, the foods that put our heart health at risk are vegetable oils, trans fats, processed foods, sugar, refined carbohydrates and meat from mass production. A huge risk is sugar, because we take too much sugar through our diet. According to recent studies, saturated fats do not affect our cholesterol level, and animal saturated fats even increase a good cholesterol. And, cholesterol does not present the risk factor for heart disease per se. Medical experts claim that a high level of sugar is far riskier than cholesterol. To find out more about habits that can prevent heart disease, the article “These Five Habits Can Save Your Heart — Here’s How” gives us the following list.

What Habits Can Prevent Heart Disease?

1. Avoid tobacco. Smoke from cigarettes, cigars, and pipes is as bad for the heart and arteries as it is for the lungs. If you smoke, quitting is the biggest
gift of health you can give yourself. Secondhand smoke is also toxic, so avoid it whenever possible.

2. Be active. Exercise and physical activity are about the closest things you have to magic bullets against heart disease and other chronic conditions. Any
amount of activity is better than none; at least 30 minutes a day is best.

3. Aim for a healthy weight. Carrying extra pounds, especially around the belly, strains the heart and tips you toward diabetes. If you are overweight,
losing just 5% to 10% of your starting weight can make a big difference in your blood pressure and blood sugar.

4. Enliven your diet. Add fruits and vegetables, whole grains, unsaturated fat, good protein (from beans, nuts, fish, and poultry), and herbs and spices.
Subtract processed foods, salt, rapidly digested carbohydrates (from white bread, white rice, potatoes, and the like), red meat, and soda or other sugar-
sweetened beverages.

5. Drink alcohol in moderation (if at all). If you drink alcohol, limit your intake — one to two drinks a day for men, no more than one a day for women.

Additionally, our emotional state affects significantly the strength of our heart. People who have difficulties to process negative emotions put their heart to stress. If we want to prevent heart disease, we need to develop habits that help us release negative emotions and become aware of our feelings. There are many techniques out there. For some people, meditation is a great tool to keep their emotions run smoothly, while for others prayers or emotional freedom techniques (EFT) can make miracles. Whatever technique we choose, it is important not to deny negative emotions, but embrace them and let them go. Through practice, we will learn how to release difficult emotions, stay at peace when we feel uncomfortable, and develop an important habit that will prevent heart disease to happen.

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