Prevent Heart Disease
by: Mike Spencer
You should always keep in mind that whatever actions you do today can
either help to prevent, delay or minimize the effect of heart disease or
worsen it. The key is to control risk factors. Granted that you cannot
control every risk factor for heart disease such as family history but you
can definitely do something about your behavior. Age and gender also
influence your risk of heart disease.
Major Risk Factors of Heart Disease
Cholesterol is a type of a lipid, a soft, fatlike substance that serves
as a source of fuel. Excessive cholesterol can cause buildup of
atherosclerotic plaque. Accumulation of plaque in arteries can block blood
flow and lead to a heart attack. LDL cholesterol, the so-called "bad"
cholesterol, is transported to sites throughout the body, where it's used
to repair cell membranes or to make hormones. LDL cholesterol can
accumulate in the walls of your arteries. HDL cholesterol, the so-called
"good" cholesterol, transports cholesterol to the liver, where it's
altered and removed from the body.
Normal blood pressure level is defined as less than 130 millimeters of
mercury (mm Hg) for systolic blood pressure and less than 85 mm Hg for
diastolic blood pressure. The higher the blood pressure, the more likely
it is to take a toll on the heart and on the brain. Blood pressure should
be checked whether or not your levels are high. For normal, check once
every two years. For high-normal, check once a year. If extremely high,
you should get immediate care. Then get multiple measurements to know if a
high level is sustained over time.
Another risk factor for heart disease is diabetes, a chronic disease of
insulin deficiency or resistance. Type 2 diabetes, the most common type,
is associated with obesity and may be prevented by maintaining ideal body
weight through exercise and balanced nutrition.
Tips For Controlling Risk of Heart Disease
The effect of smoking on your lungs can cause almost every other
Routine physical activity is highly recommended and helpful in
controlling obesity. Try to perform 30 minutes of moderate physical
activity every day. Fast walking is one of the best way to prevent heart
disease. If you can lose even a small amount of weight, five pounds for
example, it may have a positive effect on lipid levels and blood pressure
preventing heart disease.
Limit Alcohol Consumption
Limit daily alcohol intake to three ounces or fewer to prevent heart
disease. People who drink large amounts of alcohol (six to eight ounces a
day) tend to have higher blood pressure.
Watch What You Eat
Eat five helpings of fruits and vegetables daily to prevent heart
Maintain adequate dietary potassium, calcium and magnesium intake.
Reduce saturated fats and cholesterol to stay away from heart disease.
Copyright 2008 Mike Spencer