By keeping your heart healthy, you can spend even more time with the special people in your life. If you pay attention to what you eat, you can actually reduce or slow down the chance of developing heart disease.
Healthy food choices can reduce the major risk factors for heart disease: high blood cholesterol, high blood pressure and excess body weight.
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The good news about cardiovascular disease is most of it can be prevented. Heredity does play a role and you may have a higher incidence of developing heart disease, but many of the lifestyle behaviors you choose can decrease your risk of this disease. Your genes can't be altered, but your behaviors can change. The important thing is to understand that taking care of your heart can make a lifesaving difference, not only for yourself, but for your family. There are many simple behavior choices that can really make a difference in your life.
Below are some heart-healthy tips to help reduce your risk; you are probably already doing many of them and not even aware of them. Educate yourself and apply what you learn.
13 Steps to a Healthy Heart
1. Increase your intake of fruits and vegetables. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables; try five or more servings a day.
2. Eat a variety of grain products and complex carbohydrate foods. Focus on whole grains and legumes.
3. Choose low-fat and fat-free dairy products every day (two to three servings).
4. Eat a variety of protein foods. Don't just include one protein type; balance your intake of lean protein sources such as fish, skinless poultry and lean meats. Include fish varieties that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, trout and sardines. Vegetable protein sources count, too.