February is American Heart Health Month. Heart disease is not only the leading cause of death in America, but it also costs the healthcare industry $300 billion per year. In many cases, heart disease can be prevented with healthy lifestyle changes. Below are some tips for keeping your heart healthy:
You can significantly reduce your risk of heart disease by making healthier dietary choices. One of the ways you can make your diet healthier is by including more fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet. Experts recommend getting three to five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables per day. You should also select other foods that are high in fiber, but low in cholesterol and trans fat, such as whole grains.
Checkups are recommended at least once a year. Regular checkups are necessary even if you are feeling healthy. Your doctor, or another health care provider, can determine whether you are at risk for diabetes or high blood pressure. Both of those conditions make you more susceptible to developing heart disease. Fortunately, they are easier to treat if you detect them earlier.
Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Being overweight can increase the risk of heart disease. Health care providers often use body mass index, or BMI, in order to determine whether one’s weight is in the right range. Your BMI is calculated using your height and weight. Even though the BMI is not perfect, it does make it easier for health care workers to determine whether a person is normal weight, underweight, overweight, or obese.
Limit Alcohol Use
Moderate alcohol use, which is defined as having one-two drinks per day, will not likely cause any harm. However, excessive alcohol consumption can greatly increase the risk of heart disease. That is why it is important to limit alcohol consumption.
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