Following are some lifestyle changes that we can all make to help decrease our risk of developing heart disease. Only 25% of heart disease risk is genetic, therefore we have more control than we think.

Weight loss
• Losing 5-10% of your body weight can significantly improve your heart health. In addition for every 1 kg (2.2 lbs.) of weight loss BP drops by 1 mmHg.

Getting a good night sleep
• Trading in your ZZ’s to catch up on TV shows, emails, social media, work triples your risk of biochemical shifts leading to heart disease.
• In addition if sleep less than 7-8 hours it causes you to overeat the next day by 400-500 calories as well as increasing your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Limit red and processed meats
• 4 oz. of red meat or processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, bacon) can increase risk of heart disease by 30%.

Eat more fiber
• Improves cholesterol, decrease blood pressure and reduces belly fat.
• Decreases risk of heart disease by 18% (bonus: decreases risk of breast cancer as well).

Whole Foods
• Following diet with variety of vegetables, fish, fruit, whole grains (in moderation), and lean meats (in moderation) can lower your risk of heart disease by 25%.

Exercise
• Total of 150min/week (30min/5 days per week or 50 min/3 days per week), decreases your risk of heart attacks, stroke, decreases blood pressure, increases your heart healthy cholesterol (HDL).
• In as little as 90 days there are noticeable age-reducing effects of exercise on the heart.

Laughter
• Decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Individuals who suffer from depression are twice as likely to have a heart attack.

Dentist
• Having teeth cleaned every 6 months can lower your risk of heart attack by 24% and risk of stroke by 13%.

Boost your self-esteem
• Feeling good about your life and accomplishments decreases your risk of heart disease by 13%.

Snoring
• Can be a sign of sleep apnea. If left untreated sleep apnea increases your risk of high blood pressure, diabetes, heart failure, stroke, and heart disease.

Sex
• Having sex at least twice a week has been linked to substantial decreases in heart disease risk.

Chocolate (dark only)
• Eating chocolate in small amounts (exact amount yet to be determined) a few times per week can lower your risk of heart disease by almost 40%, diabetes by about 30%, and stroke by about 30%.
• Keep portions small 1-2 oz. to avoid weight gain and further stress on the heart.
• Semisweet, milk and white chocolate are not beneficial to heart health.

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Office information:

Park Place Professional Center

2090 W Arlington Blvd, Suite B

Greenville, NC 27834

Ph: 252-757-3333 / 252-758-3000

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