Currently, coronary artery disease ‚Äì also known as ischemic heart disease ‚Äì is the leading cause of death worldwide by a fair margin. With February being American Heart Month, we‚Äôre taking time to help raise awareness of heart disease and shed some light on how to prevent it. These 5 important tips will help ensure your heart is as healthy as can be.
The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. This may sound daunting, but it comes out to a mere 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Moderate exercise can be as simple as going for a walk or playing a sport that you love. Physical activity is an important component of preventing heart disease.
Maintain healthy cholesterol levels and blood pressure
It‚Äôs ideal to have lower LDL, or ‚Äúbad,‚Äù cholesterol and triglycerides, along with high HDL, or ‚Äúgood‚Äù cholesterol. Keeping your blood pressure low is another important aspect to keep a healthy heart. Prevention is the best cure, so talk to your doctor if you have a family history of high cholesterol or blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy diet
One‚Äôs diet is arguably the largest contributor to risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association suggests eating a diet full of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts/legumes, low-fat dairy products, and skinless poultry and fish. They suggest limiting saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages.
Eat less added sugar
Even if you aren't overweight, sugar can still contribute to heart disease. A Harvard study showed more sugar in your diet increases the odds of dying from heart disease, regardless of age, sex, weight, and fitness level. Today, 1 in 10 people consume at least 25% of their daily calories in the form of sugar. People who consume 25% of their calories from sugar are more than twice as likely to die of heart disease.
Limit your stress
Prolonged stress can indirectly contribute to heart disease. Doctors suggest that stress can cause people to act in ways that increase their risk of heart disease. For example, people under stress could turn to unhealthy habits like excessive alcohol consumption or indulging in high-cholesterol comfort foods. Reducing stress by way of meditation, exercise, or something else could help reduce those unhealthy habits that come along with it.
We are not medical doctors and cannot give medical advice. As always, we suggest consulting your doctor if you have any questions regarding your stevia consumption and any effects it may have on any pre-existing conditions.