Each year on September 29 we celebrate World Heart Day.1 This is an international holiday that aims to teach people about cardiovascular (heart) diseases.
Heart health is very important to living a happy and healthy life. The Centers for Disease Control says heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States.
There are several things you can do to keep your heart healthy. Exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and limiting alcohol are all good for your heart. Another way to reduce the risk of heart disease is by eating a heart-healthy diet.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the term for all types of diseases that affect the heart or blood vessels. Three of the most common cardiovascular issues are listed below:
1. High blood pressure (hypertension)
When the force of your blood pushing against the walls of your blood vessels is too high. High blood pressure puts you at risk for stroke, heart failure, and kidney failure.
2. Heart failure (congestive heart failure or CHF)
A chronic condition in which your heart muscle is unable to pump enough blood to meet the body’s needs. Basically, the heart can’t keep up with its workload.
3. High cholesterol (hyperlipidemia)
When you have raised levels of fats in your blood. Most people do not experience any symptoms, but having high cholesterol increases your risk for stroke and heart disease.
The good news is that even if you have a cardiovascular disease, eating the right foods can help improve your heart health. Follow the roadmap below to make food choices that support your heart health!
If you have high blood pressure:
If you have high cholesterol:
If you have heart failure:
To learn more about what you can do to improve your heart health, read this CDC article.1
1 When you click this link, you will leave the Commonwealth Care Alliance website.