Story Posted: 2012-01-05
Preventing Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
Source: CanolaInfo, Category:
General Canola Info
Know Your Numbers and Family History
Visit a health professional who can measure your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose levels, and body mass index. These numbers may reveal CVD risks. Also, know your family history of CVD. Once you have all your facts, you can make an action plan to maintain or achieve heart-smart habits.
Tobacco alone causes one-fifth of CVD cases worldwide. If you are a smoker, stop; you will cut your risk of heart disease in half one year after quitting. In 15 years, your risk will be similar to that of someone who never smoked.1 Non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke at home or at work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent.2
Stock Healthy Foods
Have nutritious foods available in your home and make lunches to ensure healthy foods are eaten at school or work. A healthy diet low in saturated fat and salt but rich in fruits and vegetables helps prevent CVD.1
Eat the Right Fats
Not all fats are created equally! Substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for saturated and trans fats. Monounsaturated fat-rich sources include nuts, seeds and canola oil. Polyunsaturated fats include omega-3 fatty acids from fatty fish like salmon and mackerel.
Consume less than 7 percent of total daily calories from saturated fat, less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol and minimal trans fat.
Just 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity on most days can reduce your risk of heart attacks and stroke.1 One study3 found that women who walk just three hours a week may reduce their risk of a heart attack by 30 to 40 percent and those who walk more than five hours weekly may reduce their risk by 50 percent.
1 World Heart Federation, www.worldheart.org
2 Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics – 2011 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association, Circulation 2011, 123:e18-e209
3 Walking Compared with Vigorous Exercise for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Events in Women. New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 347:716-725
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