What Does It Take To Have A Healthy Heart?

Did you know that the number one cause of death in women over 50 is heart disease?Did you also know that there a number of things you can do to protect yourself from heart disease?

Here is a list of simple strategies to help you keep a healthy and happy heart.

We all know that exercise is good for us, no surprise here. So, exercise 30 minutes daily.

Why? Because exercise is vital and it does everything good for you.

Not only will you feel better, but you will also have more energy and burn some calories along the way (and who wouldn’t like that).
Exercise gives your heart the activity she craves, improves your mood, and stabilizes your blood sugar and can prevent or improve osteoporosis.

Turns out, exercise truly is that magic bullet everyone is searching for!

If you are overweight, it’s time to get that under control.

Start with eating smaller portions and fewer calories. Eat more vegetables, fish, and poultry. Eat less sugar, white flour and certainly eat less red meat.

And of course, exercise. Bottom line: you must burn off more than you take in.

If you have diabetes…keep those sugars under control.

Do you know your fasting lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides)? Get tested and know your numbers! What gets measured gets attention. It’s as simple as that.

Your ideal numbers will depend on your risk factors, but in general you want your HDL (happy cholesterol) to be high – greater than 50, your LDL (lousy cholesterol) to be less than 70-100, your total cholesterol less than 170, and your triglycerides less than 150.

If you smoke – STOP! ASAP!

No room for negotiation here… Period! I cannot emphasize this enough.

What will reduce your cholesterol, help stabilize your blood sugar, keep your colon healthy, and help you with weight loss?

No, it’s not a riddle.

It’s fiber that does all of that for you!

Increase the amount of fiber in your diet to get at least 30 grams per day. The more the better.

Make sure you drink lots of water, particularly as you increase your fiber intake.

There are two types of fiber…soluble and insoluble fiber.

A simple way to tell them apart is that soluble fiber cleans your vessels, while insoluble fiber cleans your colon. You absolutely need both for good health.

Amongst foods with the highest (soluble and insoluble) fiber are:

  • Artichokes
  • Beans
  • Green peas
  • Sweet potato
  • Acorn squash
  • Apple (with the peel)
  • Berries
  • Oranges
  • Pear (with the peel)
  • Dried prunes
  • Bran cereal
  • Almonds and peanuts

If you need to supplement your fiber intake, there are several over the counter supplements available. Be sure and read the labels. You want to avoid products with lots of additives.

A book addressing cholesterol concerns is “50 Ways to Lower Your Cholesterol” by Mary P. McGowan, MD. It’s easy to understand and looks at cholesterol from all angles.

Take whatever steps are necessary to keep your heart healthy and happy! Chances are you’re already doing some or most of what was discussed. However, there always seems to be room for improvement, for all of us!

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