8 Steps to Help Prevent Heart Disease

Even though you cannot control or change certain risk factors, it is still possible to prevent heart disease by adopting simple lifestyle habits. Here are some steps appropriate for all ages to lower the chances of developing heart disease:

  1. Eat a wide variety of healthful foods. Eat meals that contain many fruits, vegetables, whole-grains, low-fat or fat-free dairy, and lean protein. Avoid foods that are high in saturated and trans fat, sugar, and sodium (salt).
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, talk to your doctor or registered dietitian about how to lose weight safely.
  3. Be physically active at least 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
  4. Check your blood pressure regularly, and have a doctor test your cholesterol levels at least once every five years.
  5. Get tested for diabetes, and monitor your blood sugar and glucose levels closely.
  6. Avoid use of and exposure to smoking and tobacco products.
  7. If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. No more than 1 serving a day for women and 2 a day for men.
  8. Visit your doctor on a regular basis, even when you feel fine. Your doctor can check for and identify early signs of heart disease, sometimes long before symptoms start.