There are two types of risk factors for heart disease, those that are controllable and those that you cannot control.
The main risk factors for heart disease are being male, becoming older, a family history of heart disease, being a post-menopausal woman, and being African American, American Indian, or being Mexican American.
These risk factors are the ones that you cannot control.
The risk factors for heart disease that you can control are smoking, having high LDL cholesterol or low HDL cholesterol, whether you are physically active or not, obesity, and having uncontrolled diabetes, or a high C-reactive protein, and also having uncontrolled stress or anger.
Heart Disease Risk Factors You Can Control
You can lower your risk for heart disease by making lifestyle changes that will lower those risks that you can control. You can make lifestyle changes that will improve your eating habits or you can become more physically active each day.
You can stop smoking cigarettes if you currently smoke, and you can keep regular appointments with your doctor so that you can learn how to monitor disease such as diabetes and control your cholesterol and blood pressure.
Changing Your Diet to Help Prevent Heart Disease
Your diet is one way that you can gain control over your risk factors for heart disease. Studies show that eating at least five portions of fruits and vegetables each day can lower your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease.
You should choose a variety of different colors of fruits and vegetables for maximum benefit.
Eating whole grains is also smart eating when it comes to reducing your risk for heart disease. Whole grains can lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Choose whole grain breads and cereals, whole grain pasta and whole grain rice instead of the white alternatives.
Oily fish is also heart healthy because they contain omega-3 fatty acids, which has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and may also improve your chance of surviving a heart attack. Omega-3 fatty acids can help your heart to beat more regularly.
Adults should eat 2 helpings of fish each week (portion is 3.5 oz). Oily fish include salmon, herring, mackerel, and also tuna. White fish is also good to eat for a healthy heart.
The typical individual eats more fat than the body requires for normal functioning. When we reduce our saturated fat consumption we can reduce our blood cholesterol levels, which is healthy for our heart. Anything we do that is healthy for our heart reduces our risk for heart disease.
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