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Heart health

Seven Tips for Healthier Hearts

Wednesday, February 25, 2009 by: Reuben Chow
Tags: heart health, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) Based on statistics published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 652,091 Americans died of heart disease in 2005. This was supposedly more than a quarter of all American deaths (27.1%), and applied almost equally to both men and women. In view of this heart wrenching epidemic, what simple steps can you take to drastically cut your risk of being hit by this ailment? A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has zoomed in on three "do's" and three "don'ts" for protection.

Do Not Smoke

Chemicals found in cigarettes increase blood pressure, lower levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL cholesterol, the supposed "good" cholesterol), and also harm your blood vessels. All these damage cardiovascular health and contribute significantly to your risk of being hit by a heart attack.

And of course, it's not just about the heart - smoking is bad for just about every part of your body. In order to obtain and maintain good health, smoking is one of the first habits which must be kicked.

Do Not Drink Excessively

Drinking too much alcohol can cause elevated blood pressure and weight again; these, too, mean poorer heart health. And if you drink heavily on a long-term basis, you are at increased risk for cardiomyopathy, where your heart becomes enlarged and permanently damaged. These apply to beer, hard liquor, and even wine.

Do Not Keep Too Much Air In That Spare Tire

Recent research has linked belly fat to increased risk of heart disease. For example, one recent study discovered that every two additional inches translated to an added heart disease risk of almost 20%. Again, it is not just about the cardiovascular system - belly fat has been linked to premature death, too.

Get a Risk Assessment

Another suggestion put forth by the researchers is for you to assess your risk of heart disease, in particular through important numbers like your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc. Your family doctor could do the job, or the website HeartDecision.org can be used from the comfort of your own home. This website was launched by Dr Jon Keevil, a medical professor from the university.

Cut Your Weight

Obesity is linked to a whole host of serious diseases, including heart problems. The researchers do not want you to experiment with fad diets or to starve yourself. "The question really comes down to the type and amount of food you're eating. Not every diet is designed to help you have a healthy heart. Healthy diets are low in red meat, fried foods and sweets. They emphasize fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grain, fish and poultry," said Dr Matt Wolff, the chief of cardiovascular medicine at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Exercise!

Exercise is the only way to get the heart pumping hard and working out, which is key to long-term good cardiovascular health. Like all muscles in the body, the heart loses its strength without regular use. If you can manage it, some vigorous exercise is useful, although moderate physical activities like walking have also been shown to have beneficial effects.

When it comes to cardiovascular health, there are numerous studies showing the massive importance of exercise. In fact, a recent study which was funded by the US government showed that even heart failure patients will benefit from a certain amount of exercise. Read more about that study at https://www.naturalnews.com/024996.html.

Consume a Healthy Diet

Although it is indirectly implied and mentioned above, it is still very surprising that consuming a healthy diet is not a specific recommendation of the Wisconsin study. With that in mind, here is a quote from a study conducted by Canadian researchers, which found that people who ate a lot of fried foods and meat had a 35% higher risk of getting acute heart attacks, as compared to those who were "prudent" eaters:

"What we found was that the prudent diet, which is very simple - lots of fruits and vegetables, less fried food and red meat - was protective. It was protective in every part of the world, in men and women, old and young - everybody. And the degree of protection was quite substantial," said Dr Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine at McMaster University and director of the Population Health Research Institute at Hamilton Health Sciences, the leader of that study.

Conclusion

So there you have it - seven important suggestions to make your heart happy and healthy. These tips also come with a very useful side effect - better health and vitality all round. That is way better (and cheaper) than what any heart drug can offer.

Sources

Study offers heart-healthy advice for living longer (http://www.estacadanews.com/features/story.p...)

Heart Disease Facts and Statistics (http://www.cdc.gov/heartDisease/statistics.h...)

In any diet, fried food, meat raise heart-attack risk: Study (http://www.canada.com/Health/diet+fried+food...)

https://www.naturalnews.com/024996.html

About the author

Reuben Chow has a keen interest in natural health and healing as well as personal growth. His website, All 4 Natural Health, offers a basic guide on natural health information. It details simple, effective and natural ways, such as the use of nutrition, various herbs, herb remedies, supplements and other natural remedies, to deal with various health conditions as well as to attain good health. His other websites also cover topics such as depression help, omega 3 fatty acids, as well as cancer research and information.

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