Heart disease continues its reign as our top killer, being responsible for one out of four deaths in the US each year.
But what most people don’t realize is that heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke are all nearly 95 percent preventable!
If you want to stack the deck in your favor and slash your heart disease risk, here are 8 very effective ways to keep the cardiologist far away from you!
8 ways to slash your heart disease risk
1- Cut out refined carbs, sugars, and fake sugars.
Refined carbs like white bread, pastries, soda, bagels, white rice, cakes and cookies raise insulin levels and stir up inflammation in your arteries, which is the perfect invitation for atherosclerosis to fester.
Fake sugars like aspartame and sucralose are no better. They cause carb cravings (so you ultimately take in sugar) and encourage overeating--which leads to obesity and thus increases your heart disease risk that way too.
2- Avoid unhealthy fats.
The number one most deadly form of fat is trans-fats—a lab concoction created when hydrogen is infused into polyunsaturated oils (aka hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils). Trans-fats are found in many processed and fast foods, vegetable shortenings, and margarines.
In June 2015, the FDA determined that partially hydrogenated oils are no longer Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) in human food; however since food companies were given a three-year period to phase these fats out of their products, many processed foods still may contain these oils, so reading labels is crucial.
The more you avoid processed and fast foods in general, the more you avoid trans-fats.
3- Naturally control your cholesterol and triglycerides.
This is surprisingly easy to do—without statins!
Avoiding refined carbs and sugars is step one. On the flip side of that, be sure to get at least four to six servings of fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables every day.
Plus you can’t beat Omega-3 fatty acids and probiotics for encouraging healthy cholesterol levels.
Omega-3 essential fatty acids have been medically proven to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure! And a top-notch fish oil formula like VitalMega-3 can help ensure your body has healthful levels of these potentially life-saving nutrients.
And an outstanding full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield helps sweep away old cholesterol that your body is trying to eliminate through your GI tract. In addition, probiotics create acids that naturally counteract cholesterol production.
4- Have your homocysteine and C-reactive protein levels checked.
These are both markers for increased heart disease risk.
Homocysteine is a by-product of your digestion of proteins, and if it builds up in your blood, it can increase the likelihood of artery clogs.
C-reactive protein is an inflammatory marker, and inflammation is the hallmark of heart disease.
The B vitamins (especially B6, B12 and folic acid) help break down homocysteine, and vitamin C is helpful to curb C-reactive protein.
Again, reducing your intake of refined carbs and concentrating on healthful real foods can put you in the right direction to getting the nutrients your body needs. If you want to make sure all bases are covered, a well-rounded multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core can help fill in the blanks where your diet may be lacking.
In addition to a wide array of nutrients, Super Core also contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, which further lower your heart disease risk!
5- Get your blood pumping.
Exercise is just as important as your diet when it comes to reducing your heart disease risk.
Don’t let the idea of exercise freak you out—something as simple as going for a nice, brisk walk 4 days a week can make a huge difference!
So get your doctor’s OK, dust off those sneakers and get going. And remember, you’ll likely drop some pounds too which is an added bonus!
6- Get your blood pressure checked once a year.
High blood pressure sneaks up on a lot of people and most times there are no symptoms. Knowing where you stand can allow you to nip potential blood pressure problems in the bud.
7- Have your heavy metal levels checked.
Mercury, lead, and cadmium are all associated with increased risk of heart disease and high blood pressure. This test is especially important if you have amalgam fillings in your mouth (which are half mercury) and/or you’ve gotten flu shots (many flu shots contain mercury preservatives).
8- Keep stress low.
Stress can trigger inflammation, which is a leading factor behind many chronic conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, chronic back pain, premature aging, and cancer.
Exercise is a super-effective stress reducer. You can also try yoga, meditation, acupuncture, prayer, deep breathing, massage therapy or counseling. Do whatever works for you.
Now YOU are on a solid path to a lower heart disease risk and a much healthier you.
To your health,