What Can You Do to Decrease Your Risk?
Lifestyle factors like diet and exercise can reduce your risk of heart disease no matter what age you are. The food you eat is perhaps the most important decision you are making each and every day. Ideally, you want to choose foods low in saturated fat. Avoid foods containing trans fats and sugar. Strive for 80% of your diet to be plant based and 20% from animal protein. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and fiber-rich whole grains. Oily fish should be consumed 2-3 times per week for optimal Omega 3 fatty acid intake. Other protein sources should be lean and skinless options like turkey or chicken. Try to increase the amounts of vitamins you consume, especially antioxidants, which have been shown to lower your risk for heart disease.
It is very important to stay physically active. Remember moving your legs helps to foster heart functioning. We should be exercising daily for at least 30-45 minutes per day! Many of us lead very sedentary lives. People who don't exercise have higher rates of death and heart disease compared to people who perform mild to moderate amounts of physical activity. Even leisure-time activities like gardening or walking can lower your risk of heart disease.