Making lifestyle changes Your daily habits and lifestyle have a direct effect on your heart. Take care of your heart and yourself by making a few simple—but very beneficial—lifestyle changes. Stop smoking. Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow and makes it difficult for blood to reach your heart muscle. It also temporarily raises your blood pressure and the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke deprives your heart of oxygen. Smokers have twice the risk of having a heart attack as nonsmokers. If you need help quitting, talk with your healthcare provider. Try to avoid secondhand smoke, which is also bad for your heart. Eat heart-friendly foods. Eating fatty foods can cause fat deposits to build up in your arteries, leading to blockages in the arteries of your heart. This may eventually cause a heart attack. Limit foods that are high in animal fats, such as fatty meats, whole-milk products, egg yolks and fried foods. Choose cooking oils with unsaturated fats, such as canola and olive oils, and use them in limited amounts. Try to eat 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables daily. Set exercise goals. Exercise gets your heart pumping and helps your body use oxygen better and makes your heart stronger. It can also decrease your blood pressure and the amount of fat in your blood. Start slowly, with short sessions, such as a 10-minute walk. Gradually increase the length of your workouts, up to 30 minutes 5 days per week. Be sure to talk with your healthcare provider before starting an exercise program. Watch your blood pressure. Make sure your blood pressure is in the optimal range or under control. According to the American Heart Association, a normal blood pressure is less than 120/80. Watch your weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. Losing weight decreases your risk, and reaching or maintaining an ideal weight also helps lower your blood pressure and cholesterol level. Reduce stress. Stress is frequently associated with anger, another emotion that is tightly linked with risk of cardiac death. Common ways of dealing with stress, such as overeating and smoking, can harm your heart. Keep your stress low by exercising, sharing your concerns with friends and family, and making some quiet time for yourself each day. Spending 15-20 minutes every day doing something you enjoy is a simple, but effective, step toward a less stressful life. 28 Healthy Diet: Dos & Don’ts Shopping Look for: ■■ Bright colored fruits and vegetables ■■ Low fat meats, such as fish, chicken or turkey, and lean beef ■■ Whole grain foods and low-fat dairy (milk) products Avoid: ■■ High fat snack foods Food Labels—look at food labels to check how much makes a serving, and how much fat, salt (sodium) and starches (carbohydrates) are in each serving. Nutrition Facts Serving Size 1 cup (240g) Servings Per Container 2 Amount Per Serving Calories 100 Calories from Fat 20 % Daily Value* Total Fat 2g 3% Saturated Fat 0g 0% Trans Fat 0g Cholesterol 0mg 0% Sodium 70mg 3% Total Carbohydrate 17g 6% Dietary Fiber 3g 12% Sugars 5g Protein 4g Vitamin A 70% • Vitamin C 20% Calcium 15% • Iron 8% *Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Serving size This tells you how much of the food makes up one serving. If you eat more than one serving, all the other values increase. Fat This is the total amount of fat in each serving. Limit saturated fats and avoid trans fats. Both are bad for your health. Sodium (salt) This is the total amount of sodium in each serving given in milligrams (mg). People with diabetes should try to eat less than 1,400 mg of sodium a day. Total carbohydrate (starches) This tells you how many grams of carbohydrate are in one serving. If you do carb counting, this number helps you fit the food into your meal plan. © 2013 ABC, FH Foundation, and Krames StayWel . All rights reserved. A pAtient resource guide Acute Coronary Syndrome: Stroke and Heart Attack Prevention P854_ABC_FH_ACS_Stroke_HeartAttack_Prevention_GTG.indd 1 6/14/13 2:30 PM P854 HealthyDiet.indd 1 6/17/13 3:37 PM Healthy Diet: Dos & Don’ts Click here to download and print this worksheet about a healthy diet.
P854 Acute Coronary Syndrome
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