Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in North America. Heart disease refers to many conditions that affect the heart, including coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, heart attack, heart rhythm problems (arrhythmias) and more.
Lifestyle habits and heart disease
While there are some heart disease risk factors you can’t control, there are some you can, including diet and lifestyle. Up to 80% of premature heart disease and stroke can be prevented through your lifestyle habits. Eating a well-balanced diet can lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and help you lose weight. A diet low in saturated fat and high in fibre and plant food can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by:
If you have congestive heart failure, fluid retention is one of the biggest issues you face. You should aim to eat less than 2,000 milligrams of sodium daily – the average North American diet has about four to five thousand milligrams. Just as a diabetic would test their blood sugars every day to see how much insulin they need to take, a person with heart failure should be doing a daily weight check to monitor for fluid retention. Weigh yourself before breakfast and consult with your healthcare provider if you gain five pounds in a week or four pounds in two or three days.
Heart-healthy diet tips
Here are some ways to ensure you’re eating a heart-healthy diet:
There are so many steps you can take towards a healthier heart, and diet is a big one. While it may seem daunting to change your eating habits, your heart will thank you!
Talk to your healthcare provider if you’d like more information on nutrition.
Visit HealthChoicesFirst.com for more videos and resources on heart health.
Print this Action Plan and check off items that you want to discuss with your healthcare provider
Adhering to your medications, prescribed exercises or lifestyle changes (such as dietary changes, smoking cessation, reduced alcohol consumption, etc.) is essential to improving health outcomes successfully. Compliance with any prescribed treatment is the number one thing you can do to ensure positive changes and optimal treatment outcomes.