Things You Can Do to Prevent Heart Disease & Stroke

Heart disease, heart attack, and stroke are the leading cause of death worldwide. Certain risk factors, such as genetics age & gender cannot be controlled. Still, many other risk factors can be controlled or modified

Learning about them will allow you to understand better, how to prevent heart disease, how to prevent heart attack, and how to prevent stroke. Taking the necessary steps will lower the risk of heart disease and stroke even when you have a family history of diseases.

Preventing heart disease and stroke requires making sound decisions that will pay off in the long run. Here are 12 things you can adopt in your lifestyle for heart disease and stroke prevention.

Prevention 1: Stop smoking

Cigarette smoking decreases good cholesterol and increases blood pressure, which causes stress in the heart’s arteries and is one of the major causes of cardiovascular disease and stroke. When you stop smoking, your blood circulation and oxygen supply improve, which lowers the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Prevention 2: Change your eating habits

It’s easy to get into unhealthy eating habits, so reform your eating habits to cut high sodium (less salt diet) refined sugar, and saturated fat from your diet. An overall healthy diet full of nutrition and antioxidants helps provide essential vitamins and minerals to your body required for a healthy heart.

Including organic food in your diets, such as fruits, vegetables, and fiber-rich foods, reduces cholesterol level, inflammation of the body, enhances the level of good gut bacteria, and leads to improved digestion. All of these factors improve blood circulation, allowing heart disease prevention.

Prevention 3: Get informed about your family history

Get information if either of your parents, siblings, cousins, and relatives have a history of heart problems. In any such case, you need to monitor the risk factors under your control, such as diet, exercise, healthy weight, and quit smoking. Also, keep your doctor informed about your family history of heart conditions.

Prevention 4: Manage your cholesterol and triglycerides level

You need to avoid processed foods, keep fit, and reduce your calorie intake if you have high levels of bad cholesterol or triglycerides in your blood. You may also require medication to lower the blood lipid if these steps are not sufficient.

High triglycerides can lead to solidification or inflammation (arteriosclerosis) of the artery walls, which increases the risk of developing stroke, cardiovascular diseases, and heart attack.

Diet and lifestyle considerations have a significant impact on blood cholesterol and triglycerides. Choosing natural, unsaturated fats instead of trans fats, lowering calorie consumption, and daily activity may reduce blood triglycerides and bad cholesterol in no time. Thus, enabling the prevention of heart disease.

Prevention 5: Manage your diabetes

Uncontrolled diabetes and blood sugar can damage the arteries that carry blood to the heart over time that can double the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Therefore, it is essential to keep diabetes under control.

Prevention 6: Exercise regularly

There are many advantages of exercising, including protecting the heart and enhancing your circulation. It will also help you sustain a healthier weight and lower your blood pressure and cholesterol. Thus, preventing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Prevention 7: Manage stress

Stress is linked to heart diseases in many ways. Feeling depressed, upset, or isolated for a more extended period may align with other medical conditions to make a person more likely to have heart disease or stroke. People tend to overeat, get addicted to alcohol, and smoke that further calls for many diseases to cope with stress. Instead of getting into bad habits, one should manage stress by doing meditation regularly, listening to music, and following a routine exercise regime.

Prevention 8: Limit alcohol consumption

Drinking alcohol in excess will increase your blood pressure. Additional calories are then added, which can induce weight gain—all of these increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. People who drink must do so in moderation and also in a responsible way.

Prevention 9: Take proper sleep

Adequate sleep is the first step to heart attack prevention. The chances of high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes are increased with deprivation of sleep. These conditions can further increase the risk of heart diseases. On average, an adult requires seven hours of sound sleep per night. Also, ensure that you have a healthy sleep cycle. In case you experience any sleep disorder, make sure you get it treated to avoid further health complications.

Prevention 10: Be social

So, how to avoid heart attacks? Well, research says that people are less vulnerable to heart problems with greater life satisfaction. So, regularly interact with your family and friends.

Suppose you expand your network and make new friends. In that case, the sense of belongingness, appraisal, and social support also prevent or delay other diseases that are risk factors for heart diseases, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.

Prevention 11: Manage your weight

Being overweight increases the risk of strokes and heart disease. To maintain optimal body weight, do daily physical exercise, and consume a balanced diet.

Generally, the BMI (Body Mass Index) represents the amount of fat in the body. An adult with a BMI above 30 is classified to be obese. A BMI between 25 and 30 comes under the overweight category. A BMI of 18 to 25 is an average weight. An optimal weight can be achieved by eating smartly and daily physical exercise.

Prevention 12: Manage your blood pressure

Persistent increased blood pressure is directly associated with cardiovascular diseases, heart attack, and stroke. Always take your medicines as per your prescription if you have high blood pressure. Also, get your blood pressure checked regularly.

You can control your blood pressure with stress management, a balanced diet with reduced sodium intake, and daily exercise.

Takeaway

By now you might be aware of how to prevent heart attack and how to prevent stroke, Also you know eating certain foods, a sedentary lifestyle, heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, and stress can increase your heart disease risk.

However, it is often tough to change your eating habits and lifestyle.

Whether you have years of unhealthy life under your belt or want your diet to be fine-tuned, you’ll discover that heart-healthy living is both doable and fun by integrating these twelve tips into your life. You can eat smartly through planning and several simple replacements.

Dr.Ravivarma G Patil | Senior Consultant & Chief Cardiothoracic Surgeon | SDM Narayana Heart Centre, Dharwad

Narayana Health

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