Preventing heart disease

Many people often mistakenly think of heart disease as a male health problem. Did you know that heart disease is the most common cause of death for women? One in three women is at risk for heart disease. There a lot of ways to prevent heart disease. Its never too early! Heart disease can begin early in life. Aside from inherited factors that we cannot control, there are lifestyle factors that we can control. Switching to 1% or skim milk, and low-fat yogurts and cheeses will help adults control excess weight and blood pressure, two major factors in heart disease. Eating more fruits, vegetables, beans and whole grains also helps. These foods are naturally high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and low in fats. They often make us feel fuller than processed foods, making it easier to cut back on unnecessary calories that contribute to weight gain. Another step we can take to reduce the risk of heart disease is to increase activity. This also helps control weight and blood pressure. Often, getting 30 minutes of moderate activity per day is enough to do the trick. We dont need to get the 30 minutes all at once, you can break it up into 10 minute increments. If you have been inactive for awhile, it is wise to ask your health care provider how much activity you can safely begin with. Its never too late! So what if you havent made these lifestyle choices early on? Dont despair. Making these changes today reduces your risks of heart disease complications tomorrow. Even people who have had heart attacks can improve their future health by making changes that include healthier diet and more activity.

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