12 Steps To Protect Your Heart

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on November 20, 2013 · 1 comment

A healthy lifestyle trumps genes when it comes to reducing your risk for heart disease.

Initiating 12 healthy lifestyle strategies could reduce your risk for heart disease by up to 50%. Maybe you can’t change everything about the way you live, but if you strive for small changes, over time, the results will add up.

1. Eat less saturated fat and trans fat.

2. Eat more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat.    

Eat more olive, avocado, walnut, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, canola, corn and soybean oil.

3. Eat more omega-3 fat.

  • Eat fish often – at least twice a week.
  • Eat omega-3 rich foods, including flaxseed, walnuts, purslane, soy, and  pumpkin seeds.

4. Eat more nuts and seeds.

5. Eat more whole grains and more fiber and less sugar and refined


6. Eat more veggies and fruits.

  • There is no denying it, fruit and vegetables (including beans) are nature’s superfoods – aim for at least 5 servings a day.
  • For each additional serving you eat daily, you decrease your risk for heart disease by 4%.

7. Think outside the box when it comes to protein.

  • Replace some of the animal protein in your diet with vegetable protein – try having at least 1 meatless meal each week.
  • Use meat to flavor dishes rather than dominate your plate.

8. Eat regularly; don’t fast then feast.

9. Don’t drink. If you do, keep your intake moderate.

10. Exercise

Try to be active every day – aiming for 30 minutes of exercise. Vacuuming the rugs, mowing the lawn, or window shopping during lunch counts.

11. Don’t smoke – less is better, none is best.

12. Get enough sleep – aim for 7 to 8 hours a night.

  • Sleep-deprived people are at greater risk for heart disease.
  • Sleep-deprived people weigh more.
  • Sleeping helps your body heal and restore itself.

Check out our latest book, The Fat and Cholesterol Counter to be sure you can count on a healthy heart.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Bos August 17, 2015 at 6:13 am

Wish I had the answer you want. truth is you’ve got to be prraeped to stick at a new way of living permanently otherwise you will just join the thousands that yo-yo, losing a bit then sticking it back on.All the fad diets and exercise trends are short lived and so is the weight loss that comes with them. The truth is that our modern lifestyles just don’t fit with our body programs. Our bodies like to conserve energy and store any excess as fat. it comes from the times when food was not so plentiful and we all had a lifestyle that burned calories.Now we eat processed food the manufacturers stuff the food with additives, sugar and fat to make it taste good and set up an addictive cycle getting you to crave more.Food is plentiful and eating is part of our social lifeWe drive everywhere and most of our work is not so physical.The result is we pile on excess pounds and find it difficult to lose itTry to change by choosing fresh food whenever possible. Cut down your portion sizes it helps to get a smaller plate. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat. Try to eat your biggest meal at lunch-time so that you don’t go to bed and spend the night converting all those calories into fat. If you are feeling hungry between meals have a glass of water and wait a while. often we mistake thirst for hunger. If you still feel hungry after half an hour go for something healthy fruit is goodTake exercise regularly. Brisk walking is great, but you could take up the gym or swimming or join a sports club.Our bodies will try to find a way to carry out any exercise using the least calories. you can beat this by mixing it up. Try to alter the exercise you do each day and vary the intensity. Start off moderate then do a burst of really hard then go back to moderate. This will maximise the calories you burn and raise your metabolic rate so you go on burning after you stop exercising.The most important thing is to stick at it. you will look and feel great when you start losing weight


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