Heart diseases are the most important cause of non communicable deaths worldwide. According to world health organisation, WHO, 17.7 million people die worldwide due to heart diseases which accounts for 31% of all global deaths. Here are various ways to prevent heart disease;
- Quit smoking and avoid exposure to second hand smoke: Smoking damages the inner lining of blood vessels leading to a build-up of fatty tissue and thus predisposing to heart attack and stroke. People who stay around smokers are taking in secondhand smoke which also predisposes to respiratory diseases, cancer and heart diseases.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise helps to strengthen the heart and improves the overall wellbeing of a person. Exercise also helps to burn off excess calories and reduces the chances of being obesed
- Ensure you maintain a healthy blood pressure: Elevated blood pressure is also known as a ‘silent killer’ because it goes unnoticed in many people Regular check of blood pressure and use of appropriate drugs to control it if elevated is important in preventing heart disease. Also, avoid meals rich in salt which can increase your chances of having high blood pressure.
- Reduce stress: Stress can lead to heart attack or stroke. It is important you exercise regularly, laugh and avoid factors that can aggravate stress.
- Eat healthy diet: A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish helps to prevent heart disease. Excessive calorie consumption also increases your risk of heart diseases. Reduce the amount of salty and sugary foods you consume, also limit the amount of alcohol you consume daily. Avoid consumption of unhealthy meals.
- Monitor your blood cholesterol: Increased level of bad cholesterol (low density cholesterol)in the blood increases your chances of having a heart disease. American Heart Association recommend an LDL cholesterol goal of less than 100 mg/dl. Consumption of diet rich in omega-3 and fibre can help with the control of blood cholesterol.
- Control your diabetes: Diabetes is a major risk factor for heart disease. It is therefore important you eat a healthy diet , control your blood sugar, use your medication regularly and regularly visit your doctor for follow up so as to reduce your chances of having heart disease.