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Be proactive to promote heart health

(Steven Anton, M.D.) Those who are in the high-risk categories for heart disease need to be especially diligent in eliminating behaviors that are detrimental to heart health. This includes people with a family history of heart disease as well as those who are obese, smokers, diabetic and those who have high cholesterol or high blood pressure.
Given the prevalence of heart disease, however, everyone should adhere to these heart-healthy tips:
·         Get your lipids (cholesterol) and blood pressure regularly checked, as your doctor recommends. Those at high risk who have multiple risk factors or symptoms may want to consult with a cardiologist.
·         Eliminate as much saturated fat and trans fat from your diet as you can.
·         Eat a diet rich in whole foods such as vegetables, fruit, beans and fish.
·         Limit your sodium intake to help lower or prevent hypertension.
·         Follow an exercise regime that’s suitable for your age and risk factors. There’s no need to be a serious athlete; 30 minutes of aerobic exercise – even walking – four to five times a week will be fine for most people.
In addition to being proactive in supporting the health of your heart, it’s equally important not to ignore potential symptoms of heart trouble such as indigestion, chest discomfort, excessive fatigue and shortness of breath with exertion.
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Please do not give advice. We can best help each other by telling what works for us, not what we think someone else should do.