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Multiple factors may be crucial for putting your heart at risk. Some you can control, others you can’t.

Those you cannot control are like age – the older you get, the higher your risk, a family history of heart disease, being post-menopausal. Still, making some changes in your lifestyle can cut down the risk level.

On the other hand, the controllable risk factors are smoking, blood pressure or hypertension, physical inactivity, high LDL or bad cholesterol and low HDL or good cholesterol, diabetes, stress and anger, and obesity.

What Should You do to Reduce Your Chance of Having Heart Disease?

 It’s proven that the chance of having heart disease can be reduced by making lifestyle changes. Though there are no guarantees that a heart-healthy lifestyle can keep heart diseases all away, yet that will definitely help improve your health in several ways. Some risk factors are associated with others. That’s why making changes in one area may help in others.

Eat Right:

Follow a heart-healthy diet plan. Eat foods that have minimum salt, trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and refined sugars. Having more foods rich in vitamins and nutrients, especially antioxidants, is certainly good. You can get a healthy helping of plant-based foods, such as vegetables and fruits, whole grains, and nuts, too.

Get Active:

People who don’t exercise put themselves at on higher chances of heart disease, compared to those who perform mild to moderate amounts of physical activity. Even leisure activities like walking or gardening can cut down the chance of having heart disease.

Manage Stress:

Stress and anger are linked to a higher risk of heart attacks and strokes. You can consult a doctor for stress management techniques that can lower your chance. Stress management techniques usually include relaxing, managing time well, and setting realistic goals, among others. You might also want to try yoga, massage, etc.

Manage Your Diabetes:

If you cannot control your blood sugar level, it can lead to significant heart damage, such as heart attacks, and death. Some ways to do it are having healthy diet plans, doing exercise, keeping a healthy body weight, and taking medicines prescribed by your doctor.

Improve Your Cholesterol:

As the total amount of cholesterol increases, the chance of having heart disease also increases. The bad cholesterol (LDL) level less than 130 mg/dl is good whereas the good cholesterol (HDL) level should be higher 40 mg/dl if you’re a man and higher than 50 mg/dl if you’re a woman (and the higher the better). Cholesterol values often mean different things to different people but the difference decides on your own odds of having heart disease. Consult a doctor to figure out your risk.

Be Your Best Weight:

If you have extra kilos, you are putting significant strain on your heart. It tends to worsen several other heart disease risk factors, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol and triglycerides. Obesity is responsible for increasing chances of heart disease in many ways. A good diet and exercise plan can help you lose weight and lower that risk, but often tends to lose very minimum weight even over a long time.

To lower your risk for heart disease, your body mass index (BMI) should be below 25.

Weight standardBMI
UnderweightBelow 18.5
Healthy weight18.5–24.9
Overweight25.0–29.9
Obese30.0 and higher

Find your BMI using this BMI calculator from the Perth Surgical & Bariatrics Centre.

For people who are obese and have type 2 diabetes, weight-loss surgery is recommended by top bariatric surgeons. It helps reduce the risk of heart complications and premature death by about 40% compared to standard medical care, says a pioneering bariatric surgeon with a remarkable record of success in weight-loss, general surgery, and revisional procedures, Dr. Ravi Rao at Perth Surgical & Bariatrics Centre.

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