7 Simple Steps to Avoid a Heart Attack
Research has shown that people at the highest risk for heart disease can lower their risk by as much as 80% by taking 7 simple preventive measures.
- Be physically active.
- 150 minutes of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
- Eat a healthy diet.
- There are lots of definitions here, but in general, this means a plant-focused diet that avoids ultraprocessed foods that are high in added sugar, refined grains (like white flour), and preservatives.
- Don’t smoke.
- If you smoke, there are effective strategies and medications that increase the chances of successfully quitting.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Although Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 25 Kg/m2 is used in the research study, BMI is not a great measure of unhealthy weight for many people. Likely a better measure for unhealthy weight is waist circumference, particularly if greater than 40 inches for a man or 35 inches for a woman.
- Keep blood pressure numbers in a healthy range.
- Less than 120/80 mm Hg is ideal.
- Maintain healthy cholesterol numbers.
- You’re aiming here for a non-HDL cholesterol of < 100 mg/dL (and even lower for those who already have heart disease).
- Keep healthy blood sugar numbers.
- Fasting blood sugar less than 100 mg/dL. (Or hemoglobin A1c < 5.7%).
There is proof. Heart disease and stroke can be avoided!