What is heart disease? The words “heart disease” refer to several types of heart conditions. In the United States, the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease (CAD) or damage to the arteries that supply your heart with blood and oxygen and keep the heart working. You can greatly reduce your risk for heart disease through lifestyle changes and, in some cases, medicine. Focus on other factors beyond cholesterol level.
The CDC points out that lifestyle changes for a healthy heart mean that you should Talk to your health care team about the A.B.C.S.:
- Aspirin when appropriate
- Blood pressure control
- Cholesterol management
- Smoking cessation
The dietary choices that work to improve blood pressure are the same that work to manage cholesterol!
• Enjoy healthy portions of proteins such as beans, tofu, fish, poultry, & lean red meat. A healthy portion is the size of a deck of cards.
• Enjoy healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, canola oil, nuts, seeds are rich in monounsaturated fats.
• Include foods rich in potassium, soluble fiber and dietary fiber. These include beans & peas, fruits, whole grains (such as oatmeal & whole wheat, and all varieties of vegetables.
• Salt (sodium) -- the body needs some but we often eat 10 times more than we need. Your gift to your heart is to leave the salt shaker off the menu.