Limit saturated fat, trans fat, sodium, red meat, and sugar-sweetened beverages. If you choose to eat red meat, compare labels and select the leanest cuts available.
Allow yourself an indulgence every now and then. A candy bar or handful of potato chips won't derail your heart-healthy diet. Studies have found that dark chocolate, containing 60-70% cocoa, could reduce nonfatal heart attacks and stroke in people at high risk for these problems. Research has also shown antioxidants in red wine may help prevent heart disease, and champagne has also been found to have heart health benefits.
Doctors do not encourage anyone to start drinking alcohol and to only enjoy in moderation. People can enjoy the heart benefits with just one glass.
The first step in managing heart conditions is preventive care. Making key lifestyle changes can lower your risk of heart problems. If you already have a heart condition, a healthy lifestyle can keep it manageable.
Patients with diabetes and high blood pressure should take extra care in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, because these conditions often lead to heart problems.
To determine your risk for heart disease, there are some questions you should ask yourself, as well as your primary care physician.
Do you know:
In addition to a heart risk factors you can control, there are other risk factors we can assess as we tailor your prevention plan:
Physicians at MedStar Health are committed to helping you prevent heart disease. They will create an individualized plan for you, based on your known risk factors. They will use details from your exams, imaging procedures and conversations to create a prevention plan that may include: