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Heart-Healthy Lifestyle Choices

Updated: February 17, 2024

Latest Update as of February 2024


 


Taking care of your heart is essential because it continuously pumps approximately 2,000 liters of blood per day, supplying your body with essential nutrients and oxygen. Your heart works very hard for something as small as a fist. Making heart-healthy lifestyle choices is essential to prolonging its lifespan and improving your general health. These adjustments don't have to be drastic like exercising five miles every day or eating only salads. Rather, you may greatly lessen the burden on your heart and lower your risk of heart disorders including coronary artery disease, hypertension, and heart failure—the top three killers of American men and women—by making thoughtful daily decisions about your food and physical activity.


Developing long-lasting healthy behaviors is the first step toward heart health success. Here are 5 diet tips for better heart health.


1. Add More Fruits and Veggies: Include them in every meal to lower blood pressure and

cholesterol.


2. Opt for Lean Proteins: Choose chicken, fish, or legumes over red meat to reduce saturated fat

intake.


3. Smart Fast-Food Choices: Prefer grilled or salad options, and skip tortillas for a healthier

Mexican fast-food choice.


4. Switch to Olive Oil: Use it in cooking for better taste without the cholesterol increase found in

butter.


5. Choose Oatmeal for Breakfast: Opt for oatmeal instead of sugary cereals; it aids in reducing

cholesterol and provides lasting fullness.


Now, to understand and control cholesterol levels, follow these tips:


1. Embrace a heart-healthy diet with fiber, phytonutrients, and unsaturated fats from sources like

fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and omega-3-rich foods.


2. Choose nutrient-dense foods to replace less healthy options high in saturated and trans fats, as

excessive intake can raise cholesterol levels.


3. Consume fiber-rich foods to lower LDL cholesterol and replace unhealthy saturated fats with

beneficial unsaturated fats to balance cholesterol levels.


4. Refer to reliable sources like the Heart Foundation for guidance on healthy eating patterns,

including information, recipes, and meal plans.


5. Stay informed about your cholesterol levels by getting regular check-ups, especially if you're 45

years or older (30 years or older for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples).


6. Adhere to your doctor's advice and take prescribed medications as directed to achieve

treatment goals and enhance heart health.


Additionally, we ought to be aware of ways to control blood pressure:


1. Be Active: Regular exercise controls blood pressure, lowering heart attack and disease risks.


2. Watch Salt, Eat Healthy: Limit salt, choose a heart-healthy diet with vegetables, fruits, whole

grains, beans, legumes, fish, and unflavored dairy.


3. Learn about maintaining healthy blood pressure: Discover the Heart Foundation's advice on

healthy eating. Explore information, recipes, and meal plans in their Heart Healthy Eating

Pattern.


4. Check Regularly: High blood pressure often shows no symptoms, so regular check-ups are

crucial.


Participating in physical activity for at least 150 minutes a week is advised by the American Heart

Association. 15 to 20 minutes a day is all you need to get into the habit. Start by using these five

recommendations to schedule some time for exercise too.


1. Chore Workouts: Integrate lunges, squats, and jumping jacks into household chores.


2. Active Errands: Walk or bike for errands, park farther, and stroll extra in stores.


3. TV Exercise: Stay active between episodes and use resistance bands for muscle toning.


4. Playful Moves: Enjoy exercise by walking with friends, hitting the playground, or having a dance

party.


5. Lunchtime Stroll: Take a brisk walk before lunch for a refreshing break, enhancing both body

and mind.



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