Heart Healthy Living

Approximately every 60 seconds, an American will die from a coronary event.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), an estimated 71 million Americans have some form of heart disease, the most common being high blood pressure. And most of these problems are self-created by poor lifestyle choices.

What can you do to live heart healthy? The AHA recommends:

  • Eating a healthy diet
    • Lean, skinless meats and poultry
    • Fat-free, 1% fat, and low-fat dairy products
    • Avoid foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or added sugars
    • Avoid foods high in dietary cholesterol
    • Prepare foods without added salt, saturated fat, and trans fat
  • Exercising regularly
    • 20-to-60 minutes per day, 3-to-5 times per week
  • Avoiding tobacco products and tobacco smoke
  • Limiting your alcohol intake
    • Women: 1 drink per day (maximum)
    • Men: 2 drinks per day (maximum)

In addition to poor lifestyle choices, heredity plays a factor in heart disease, too. It is therefore important to know your family history to help identify familial risk factors and help prevent the development of certain familial illnesses.

What should be included in a family history?

  • Any known congenital or hereditary disorders
  • Major illnesses
  • Chronic ailments or risk factors
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Alcohol problems
  • The cause and age of death of any deceased relatives
    • Childhood conditions
    • Major illnesses
    • Vaccinations
    • Surgeries
    • Treatments, especially those involving radiation

For more information on living a heart healthy lifestyle, you can contact your health care provider or visit the American Heart Association’s Web site at:


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