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Lifestyle10 ways to protect your heart health

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10 ways to protect your heart health

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In today’s fast-paced world, maintaining a healthy heart is more important than ever. With heart disease being the leading cause of death globally, it’s crucial to take proactive steps to protect your heart health.

The American Heart Association recommends ten key strategies to keep your heart in top condition:

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  1. Balance calories eaten with physical activity: Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for heart health. Aim to balance the calories you consume with regular physical activity. For example, if you indulge in a high-calorie meal, make sure to incorporate extra physical activity to burn those calories.
  2. Reach for a variety of fruits and vegetables: Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support heart health. Aim to incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables into your diet to reap the most benefits.
  3. Choose whole grains: Whole grains, such as brown rice, oats, and whole wheat bread, are rich in fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels and improve heart health. Swap out refined grains for whole grains whenever possible.
  4. Include healthy protein sources, mostly plants and seafood: Opt for lean protein sources, such as beans, lentils, tofu, and fish, which are lower in saturated fat compared to red meat. Incorporating more plant-based proteins into your diet can benefit both your heart and overall health.
  5. Use liquid non-tropical plant oils: Instead of using butter or lard, opt for healthier cooking oils such as olive, canola, or avocado oil. These oils are rich in monounsaturated fats, which can help improve cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease.
  6. Choose minimally processed foods: Processed foods are often high in unhealthy fats, sugars, and sodium. Opt for whole, minimally processed foods whenever possible to protect your heart health.
  7. Subtract added sugar: Excess sugar consumption has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease. Be mindful of your sugar intake and limit foods and beverages high in added sugars.
  8. Cut down on salt: Consuming too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease. Limit your salt intake by avoiding processed foods and using herbs and spices to flavor your meals instead.
  9. Limit alcohol: While moderate alcohol consumption may have some heart-healthy benefits, excessive drinking can lead to a range of health issues, including heart disease. Limit your alcohol intake to protect your heart.
  10. Do all this wherever you eat: Whether you’re dining out or eating at home, make heart-healthy choices. Look for menu options that align with these guidelines, and when cooking at home, prioritize whole, nutrient-rich ingredients.

By incorporating these ten strategies into your lifestyle, you can protect your heart health and reduce your risk of heart disease. Remember, small changes can lead to significant improvements in your heart health over time.

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