You might already know that heart disease and strokes are the two most common causes of death globally. However, did you also know that approximately 80 percent of all cases of cardiovascular disease are preventable? Studies have shown that lifestyle changes can have tremendous effects in reducing your risk of developing heart disease. Thus, it is never too early to implement heart-healthy habits, as we can all benefit from them!
In this article, we have listed several efficient ways to take care of and improve your heart health throughout your everyday life.
#1 Healthy fats only!
Yes, we indeed need fats in our diet. The fats that our body needs include monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats, which are also known as “the good fats”.
Trans fat, however, is a type of dietary fat that our body does not need. It is considered the worst as it raises your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and lowers your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. In other words, trans fat increases your risk of developing heart disease or having a stroke. Trans fat is found in margarine, processed food, packaged baked goods, fried fast food, refrigerated doughs, etc.
Make sure to check the ingredients of the food products you buy, and keep in mind that products that contain partially hydrogenated oils or vegetable shortening may contain trans fats. It is exactly one of the most important healthy habits to nurture for the sake of a happier heart.
#2 Slowly replace the unhealthy items in your diet
Look, we get it. Making extreme changes or committing to the strictest diets is often an unrealistic goal for most of us. Therefore, instead of making a dramatic change at once, we would suggest you gradually replace the unhealthy items in your diet with items that are healthier for your heart.
The items that you should eliminate from your diet (aside from foods containing trans fat) are foods that contain high levels of salt, high levels of sugar, and processed grains.
For example, you can start by eliminating your potato chips with a healthier snack, such as a piece of fruit or some almonds. And maybe replace your favorite cookies with healthier sweets, such as grapes or dates.
#3 Get physically active!
An active lifestyle is one where you make your physical activity a part of every day. Whether walking to work or finally making the most of living in Bali by going on daily sunset strolls on the beach, choosing activities that you enjoy does make it easier to stick to the routine.
The Journal of American Medical Associations advises that adults need at least 150-300 minutes of moderate exercise a week, averaging 20-40 minutes a day. Now, if you divide the 40 minutes into four activities, it does not seem like a lot of physical activities after all, right?
#4 Get enough sleep
Studies have shown that less than 7-8 hours of sleep a night may have harmful effects on your heart health. Thus, make sure to take care of your sleep hygiene!
#5 Don’t smoke!
Confirming what you already know, the Centers for Disease Control has stated that smoking is a major contributing cause to the development of cardiovascular disease. Keep in mind that second-hand smoke can also increase your risk of heart disease. So, if you are a smoker, may 2022 be your great moment in which you finally quit!
#6 Get your regular check-ups
Through regular check-ups, your physician can establish a baseline for your health that enables them to examine trends over time that may point to your risk factors in developing heart disease. If you currently live in Bali, make sure that you have a local physician for your regular check-ups. Our excellent team at Prime Plus Medical Clinic in Bali is available 24/7 for all your medical needs!
We sincerely hope that you are inspired to implement the above tips to reduce your risk of developing heart disease while at the same time improving your overall health. Remember that the above heart-healthy habits go a long way!