Go Red! 5 Ways Women Can Reduce Their Risk Of Heart Disease
February 12 2016
Among all U.S. women who die each year, one in four dies of heart disease- talk about heart breaking! Many women may not be aware that heart disease is the number one leading cause of death of women in America. There are many factors contributing to heart disease some controllable and some uncontrollable. Uncontrollable factors include: age, family history, and race/ethinicities that have a higher inclination towards high blood pressure. Either way, taking charge of these controllable factors will decrease your overall risk of heart disease. Here are 4 ways to take control of your heart health.
Physical activity not only decreases your risk of heart disease but many other leading causes of death and contributing factors that affect heart health such as diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and being overweight. You should aim for 2-3 hours of cardio a week . Ideally broken down into 30 minute increments of moderate exercise. This could be walking, bicycling, doing an aerobics class, swimming, dancing, rowing, using the elliptical and many others.
Dont forget the weights! You heart ( an body overall) benefits from strength training exercises at least 2 times a week. To lower your risk, your body mass index (BMI) should be between 18.5 and 24.9. A BMI of 30 or higher is considered obese. Use this calculator to find your BMI.
No gym ? No Problem! Heres how you can workout anywhere
- •Choose foods that are ‘low salt’ or ‘low sodium’. •
- Limit foods that have ‘trans fat’. Too much trans fat can cause heart attacks. •
- Cut back on sugar. Sugar is also labeled as ‘glucose’, ‘fructose’, ‘sucrose’, and ‘corn syrup’.
- Use our Heart Healthy Shopping List as a guide
Omega-3 Fish Oil Supplements
Fish contain unsaturated fatty acids that lower your cholesterol. But the main beneficial nutrient is omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish. Omega-3 fatty acids reduce inflammation throughout the body which is responsible for damaging your blood vessels then leading to heart disease. Read more about inflammation and heart disease
Omega-3 Fish Oils decrease triglycerides, lower blood pressure, reduce blood clotting, decrease stroke and heart failure risk, and reduce irregular heartbeats. Fish oil that's rich in omega-3 fatty acids appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, particularly sudden cardiac death. BalanceDiet offers a supercritical pure form QUELL fish oil in our #11 Super Omega 3 supplement.
Drinking more than 3 drinks a day can raise your triglyceride levels and too much alcohol can actually directly do damage to your heart muscle. Don't be afraid to drink though studies have shown ladies who have just 1 drink per day were at a lower risk of heart disease so uncork that vino and relax!
Nix the smoking though. Smoking hurts your heart and that's the painful truth. It accounts for half of the heart related deaths in women. Taking birth control and smoking is even worse.
Know your numbers: Blood pressure, cholesterol (total, HDL, LDL, and triglycerides), and blood sugar levels
Here are important numbers from the American Heart Association to know whether you are putting yourself at risk :
- Waist measurement of more than 35 inches
- Triglyceride level more than 150 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol level less than 50 mg/dL
- Systolic blood pressure greater than or equal to 130 mmHg or diastolic blood pressure great than or equal to 85 mmHg.
- Blood glucose level after fasting for at least eight hours of greater than 110 mg/dL
Poor blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels are types of fat found in your blood and other parts of your body. The body needs small amounts of them to work, but too much can cause a problem. The extra amounts can cling to, and clog, your arteries. A blood test can measure your levels of:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or “bad” cholesterol – High levels lead to buildup of cholesterol in arteries. To lower your heart disease risk, your LDL level should be less that 100 mg/dL.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL) or “good” cholesterol – High levels of this type are actually good. HDL cholesterol helps lower the total cholesterol level in your body. To lower your heart disease risk, your HDL levels should be above 60 mg/dL.
- Total cholesterol – This is your LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol. To lower your heart disease risk, your total cholesterol should be less than 200 mg/dL.
- Triglycerides – Another artery clogger. To lower your heart disease risk, your triglyceride level should be less than 150 mg/dL. (http://www.womenshealth.gov/)