Heart disease is the number one cause of death globally. It was estimated that 7.2 million people in the world died of heart disease in 2004. By 2030, this figure will increase by 30%.

Heart disease knows no age barrier. It affects every single age and is influence by risk factors: family history, smoking, high caloric diet, sedentary lifestyle, stress and alcohol.

It is important that you should do everything within your power to prevent heart disease and give yourself every chance of living a quality life with and for your family.

Here are 6 ways you can do to prevent heart disease:

1) Healthy Diet

Adopt a healthy diet low in calories consisting of high fiber, low salt and low-fat. Eat more plant-based protein rather than meat based protein.

Plant protein is full of vitamin, mineral, and fiber and low in saturated fat. Saturated fat contributes to blood cholesterol, which increases the risk of heart disease.

2) Control Sugar (Simple Carbohydrates)

Simple carbohydrates such as white rice, pasta, white bread is easily digested in the body and cause spikes in blood sugar. These interns cause insulin to surge, which turns the excess sugar in the blood into fats.

Women with diet high in simple carbohydrates have twice the risk in developing heart disease over a 10-year period.

Eat more complex carbohydrates, which, you can obtain from fruits, vegetables, grains, wheat and oats. They are slower to digest, hence, do not cause surges in blood sugar and insulin.

3) Exercise

Get active throughout the day. 30 minutes of brisk walking or 10,000 steps per day for at least 5 days a week provide many benefits:

  • Increase the level of good cholesterol in the blood.
  • Improve blood circulation and reduce blood pressure.
  • Improve the elasticity of blood vessels, thereby, delivering more oxygen and food to the body.
  • Strengthens the heart muscle.

4) Quit Smoking

Smoking is the major cause of heart disease. Smoking cause build up of fatty deposits leading to thickening of blood vessels. This increase the blood pressure as well as the tendency for blood to clot.

5) Control Your Weight

Being overweight increase the risk of heart disease. Even if you have healthy cholesterol level and normal blood pressure, overweight alone increase the risk of heart disease by 45%. This is especially if you have a lot of abdominal fat.

The higher risk is mainly due to the food overweight people eat rather than the weight itself. Therefore, it is important to adopt a healthy diet and exercise regularly to control your weight.

6) Control Your Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can cause damages to the blood vessels, especially those around the heart. Damaged blood vessels increase the risk of heart attack as oxygen and nutrients cannot be effectively delivered to the heart muscle.

When blood pressure goes up, the heart has to work harder than normal. This puts the heart and blood vessel under a lot of strain. Refer to my post on “How to control blood pressure naturally” for more information.

There is no cure for heart disease. You can only manage it with medication to alleviate the symptoms and by changing your lifestyle to avoid further attacks. Therefore, prevention is better than cure.

Do you have any other ways that will help prevent heart disease?