5 Simple Tips to Keep Your Heart Healthy and Happy

by | Jul 19, 2019

We all know that a good diet and exercise can keep your heart healthy. According to Dr. Marc Gillinov from the Cleveland Clinic’s Department of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, there are five simple things we can all do every day to help our hearts work more efficiently.

Do your heart a favor and follow these 5 simple tips:

1. Eat healthy fats, NOT trans fats

We need some fats in our diet, including saturated and polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats. But trans fats can play havoc on our heart’s health.

We’ve all heard the term ”trans fat but what does it really mean? Chances are, if you’ve ever eaten a packaged food, you’ve consumed trans fat. That’s because trans fats are an inexpensive and easy way for manufacturers to make their foods last longer on store shelves and in your kitchen pantry.

While trans fats can keep a package of Twinkies from spoiling, they’re horrible for your health. Trans fats can raise your LDL(bad cholesterol) and lower your HDL(good cholesterol)…the exact opposite of what we should be striving for. These evil fats can also increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

If you look at a packaged food label and don’t see “trans fat” as an ingredient, look closer: The sneaky type of fat is often listed as “partially hydrogenated oil” on nutrition labels. Some foods with trans fat to look out for include potato chips, fried food, baked goods, frosting, frozen pizza, margarine, and even coffee creamer.

2Practice good dental hygiene, especially Flossing! 

Dental health is a good indication of overall health, including your heart, because those who have periodontal gum disease will often have the same risk factors for heart disease. Gum disease can harbor bacteria which can travel throughout the bloodstream and increasing your risk for heart disease and stroke. Floss and brush your teeth daily at the very least.

If you look at a packaged food label and don’t see “trans fat” as an ingredient, look closer: The sneaky type of fat is often listed as “partially hydrogenated oil” on nutrition labels. Some foods with trans fat to look out for include potato chips, fried food, baked goods, frosting, frozen pizza, margarine, and even coffee creamer.

3. Get enough Sleep! Zzzzzzzzzzz

Sleep is an essential part of keeping your heart healthy. If you don’t sleep enough, you may be at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease regardless of your age or other health habits. Researchers believe that sleeping too little causes disruptions in underlying health conditions and can negatively affect blood pressure and inflammation.

4. Don’t sit for too long at one time

Recent studies suggest that staying seated for long periods of time is bad for your health no matter how much exercise you do. This is a big concern for people who have sedentary jobs during the day. Be sure and take walking and stretching breaks if you sit for long periods of time or travel long distances.

5. Avoid secondhand smoke at all costs

Studies show that you increase your risk for heart disease by 25 to 30% if you are exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work. Chemicals emitted from cigarette smoke promotes the development of plaque buildup in the arteries. Be firm with smokers and tell them you do not want to be around environmental or secondhand smoke.

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