6 Ways to Prevent Heart Disease

September 6, 2013 | General, Heart Health

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Yesterday’s blog was about a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), which highlighted a staggering truth: 200,000 human deaths each year caused by heart disease, stroke, and hypertension deaths are avoidable. Today, we’d like to offer some tips for taking charge of your health:

 

  1. Make healthy food choices. Choosing foods low in sodium and trans fats is a huge piece of the puzzle when avoiding or treating heart disease. Check out our recipe page here for ideas of nutritious and delicious foods for the whole family. Pregnant and nursing mothers can find help accessing healthy foods through our Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, Gallatin County has 3 food banks in Bozeman, Big Sky and Three Forks providing food to anyone in need (they even have fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, and bread!), and the Community Cafe in Bozeman provides a free, well-balanced meal to anyone in the community every day from 5-7 pm.
  2. Exercise and stay active. Walking for at least 30 minutes every day not only prevents heart disease, but also obesity, diabetes, and even improves mental health. We’ve gathered some ideas for fun and free activities in Gallatin County, as well as many outdoor recreational opportunities to get you moving and on your way to a healthier heart.
  3. Stop smoking. Tobacco usage is extremely harmful to the heart. Need help quitting? Check out our Montana Quitline page, full of resources for helping to free yourself from tobacco!
  4. Take low-dose aspirin when appropriate. Talk to your doctor about whether you should be taking a steady dose of aspirin daily as a measure to prevent heart attack.
  5. Manage blood pressure and cholesterol. Taking control of these areas are key if you are at-risk for high blood pressure or high cholesterol levels. These could include a family history of heart disease, poor diet, lack of exercise, and age. Talk to your doctor if you think you are at-risk for high blood pressure or cholesterol, and work with your doctor to come up with a plan for lowering your blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
  6. Reduce blood sugar levels. High blood sugar levels can contribute to diabetes, and diabetes is one of the six major controllable risk factors for cardiovascular disease. How can you reduce blood sugar?
    1. Cut out simple sugars found in soda, candy, and sugary treats. Check out our recipes {link} page for suggestions on other delicious drinks and treats to replace these sugary foods.
    2. Get regular physical activity! Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity directly helps your body respond to insulin.
    3. Take medications or insulin if it is prescribed for you.

 

Check out the full CDC report here for more statistics and information about avoidable deaths due to cardiovascular disease.

Also visit the American Heart Association’s page for more information on heart health and how to prevent or manage heart disease.