Heart disease is the number 1 cause of death among women. Learn how to recognize symptoms, how to treat it and how to prevent it in the first place.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
Understanding your personal risk factors of heart disease is critical for all women. With that information in hand, you can take the necessary actions to lead a heart healthy lifestyle and decrease risk. See a listing of some of the following risk factor; many are controllable.
Understanding your personal risk factors of heart disease is critical for all women. With that information in hand, you can take the necessary actions to lead a heart healthy lifestyle and decrease risk. Most of the following risk factors are controllable:
Smoking increases your risk for many other diseases. However, only one year after quitting, your hear disease risk drops by more than half.
High blood pressure
Total cholesterol is comprised of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). To lower your risk of heart disease, you should work to lower your LDL through healthy eating and exercise. Your doctor may also recommend certain medication in conjunction with your lifestyle changes.
In addition to increasing your risk for heart disease, if you are overweight or obese, your risk for stroke, diabetes, arthritis and more increases. Small changes, like trading out soda for water or baking chicken instead of frying can make major improvements in your heart health and waistline!
Managing your diabetes is important as you work to adopt a heart healthy lifestyle. For more information about controlling your diabetes.
Physical inactivity increases your risk for obesity, as well as several other heart disease risk factors. Start small, but just get moving! Take a walk after dinner, or do jumping jacks at every TV commercial break---you’ll be amazed at how much better you (and your heart!) will feel.
Although your family history cannot be changed, it is important to keep your doctor informed of a history of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes within your family.
After menopause, women are more likely to develop heart disease due to a drop in their production of estrogen.
An annual check-up with your family physician is a great way to assure your health is in-check or to find out what you need to be doing to take better care of yourself. During your next appointment, take to opportunity to go over some key questions with your physician related to cardiovascular health, your risk factors for developing heart disease and the opportunities you have to maintain a stronger, healthier heart.
Key Questions Include:
1. Based on my medical history, what is my risk for developing heart disease?
2. Is there anything I need to do or change based on my blood pressure reading?
3. What are my cholesterol numbers (total, good, and bad)?
4. What is my body mass index (BMI) and wait circumference? Am I maintaining a healthy weight or do I need to try to gain or lose any weight?
5. What is my blood sugar level and do I have any increased risk for diabetes?
6. What other screenings or diagnostic tests do you recommend I have?
7. How much physical activity do I need to protect my heart?
8. What heart healthy nutritional plan is right for me? Should I see a registered dietician or nutritionist to develop an ideal diet?
Asian Chicken Salad
2 cups cooked chicken, skin removed, cut into bite-sized pieces
4 cups cabbage, shredded
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup carrots, grated
2 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 cucumber, thinly sliced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 mandarin orange or tangerine, divided into sections
1/2 cup nonfat Asian or Oriental-style salad dressing
Recipe yields 4 servings Per serving: 169.5 calories, 7.4gm total fat, 22mg cholesterol, 115.8mg sodium, 17.5gm carbohydrate, 4gm fiber, 10.7gm protein
Cilantro-Lime Tilapia with Spinach and Tomatoes
1 (4oz) tilapia fillet
1 tsp olive oil Juice from half a lime Garlic/garlic powder (opt.)
1/2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 cup cooked spinach
1/4 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
Recipe yields 1 serving Per Serving: 186 calories, 6l8gm total fat, 55mg cholesterol, 126mg sodium, 8gm carbohydrate, 2.8gm fiber, 25.9gm protein
Caesar Parmesan Chicken Stir Fry
1lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 Cup Caesar vinaigrette dressing
1 2/3 cup frozen stir fry vegetables
2 Cup hot cooked brown rice
Recipe yields 6 servings Per Serving: 193 calories, 6.5gm total fat, 1.1tm saturated fat, 39.2mg cholesterol, 345mg sodium, 17.2gm carbohydrate, 1.5gm fiber, 15.5gm protein
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