February is American Heart Health Month, a month dedicated to recognizing ways to help prevent coronary heart disease. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NIH), heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. With the help of friends and family, you can change your health habits by doing things such as meeting weight goals, regulating salt intake, and quitting smoking. Medicines and medical treatments may also help reduce the risk of heart-related diseases.
Coronary heart disease is defined by the NIH as a disease in which plaque, a waxy substance, builds up inside the coronary arteries. These arteries supply oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle. If this plaque builds up over the years, it may harden or rupture which will reduce the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart.
There are many risk factors to coronary heart disease including; high blood pressure, diabetes and prediabetes, being overweight, smoking, lack of physical activity, and an unhealthy diet just to name a few.
What Are the Risk Factors Associated With Coronary Heart Disease?
High Blood Pressure
Have you ever wondered what it meant to have high blood pressure? Blood pressure is the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart pumps blood. Your heart can become damaged or buildup with plaque if this pressure stays high for prolonged periods of time. Most adults should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year, but may need to be checked more if you have high blood pressure. Children can also develop high blood pressure, especially if they are overweight. A physician should take their blood pressure at routine exams.
Body weight that is greater than what is considered to be healthy for a certain height is referred to as being overweight or obese. More than two-thirds of American adults are overweight, and almost one-third of these adults are obese, according to the NIH. Being overweight or obese can raise your risk of coronary heart disease and heart attack. This can lead to other risks such as high blood cholesterol and triglycerides, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
And unhealthy diet can increase your risk of coronary heart disease. Foods that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol raise LDL cholesterol. Foods that are high in sodium (salt) and added sugars can raise your blood pressure. Added sugars give extra calories without nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Reducing these different foods from your diet can greatly lessen your chances of developing coronary heart disease.
There are many different ways to prevent heart disease and live a healthier lifestyle including; eating healthy, drinking water instead of sugary drinks, and exercising regularly. When choosing the right foods for your body, it is suggested to eat things such as: fish, which contain essential omega-3 fatty acids; unsalted nuts for good fat, energy, protein and fiber; and even changing the cooking oil you are using to those that are lower in saturated fats such as, avocado, canola, olive, and sunflower oils. Cutting sugary drinks out of one’s diet may be a difficult challenge, but your body will be much happier when you do! To add water to your daily routine, make it fun by adding lemon or cucumber slices to your glass. Carrying a reusable water bottle with you will also make you more aware to sip on it throughout the day and refill it often. Lastly, exercise is important to maintain a healthy heart. With the right foods and water in your body, it will be easier for you to use that energy to exercise. Bringing a friend along may also help encourage you to keep going.
February is American Heart Health Month. You can make a difference in your life and the lives around you by promoting a healthy lifestyle. A preventable health disease, we encourage you to educate others around you and stop heart diseases!
*”The Water Guy” does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The content presented is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please seek advice from your physician regarding any medical concerns you may have for yourself or your children.