Choosing healthful meal and snack options can help you avoid heart disease and its complications. Be sure to eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods.
Eating foods low in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high cholesterol. Limiting salt (sodium) in your diet also can lower your blood pressure. Limiting sugar in your diet can lower you blood sugar level to prevent or help control diabetes.
For more information on healthy diet and nutrition, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Program website.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk for heart disease. To determine if your weight is in a healthy range, doctors often calculate your body mass index (BMI). If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight website. Doctors sometimes also use waist and hip measurements to calculate excess body fat. They may use special equipment to calculate excess body fat and hydration status.
Physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar levels. For adults, the Surgeon General recommends 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, like brisk walking or bicycling, every week. Children and adolescents should get 1 hour of physical activity every day.
For more information, see CDC’s Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity Web site.
Cigarette smoking greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit.
For more information about tobacco use and quitting, see CDC’s Smoking & Tobacco Use Web site.
Avoid drinking too much alcohol, which can raise your blood pressure. Men should have no more than 2 drinks per day, and women only 1. For more information, visit CDC’s Alcohol and Public Health Web site.
Keeping hearts beating gets our hearts pumping. That’s why we fund lifesaving science. Science that helps figure out new ways to lower your blood pressure and keep your heart healthy so you can live your best life. Take a look at these facts — they’re all for you.
Walk it Out.
Walking at least 20 minutes a day can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. So choose the stairs, not the elevator. Park farther away from the store. Find little ways to step up your steps game.
Java Lovers Rejoice.
A little pick-me-up may bring down your risk of stroke. Just one cup of coffee a week can make a difference.
Squash High Cholesterol.
Adding a serving of acorn squash has nearly 10% of your daily value of fiber, which can reduce cholesterol.
Don’t Hold It.
Did you know the stress of having a full bladder may increase your blood pressure? Don’t let holding it in hold you back from heart health.
Go Ahead Hit Snooze.
Why count calories when you can count sheep? 7-8 hours of sleep can help you maintain a healthy weight.
Hug It Out For Your Health.
Hugs bring people closer, but they can also bring down blood pressure levels in some women. Here’s the perfect reason to give a special lady in your life a hug.
(Like you really needed an excuse.)