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Prevent Heart Disease Now
Surprised? Are you concerned enough to do something to prevent a heart attack? Good. There are many, many things that black men should be and could be doing to prevent heart disease and a full fledge heart attack. Here is what you should know fellas.
Eat better. Choosing better in the grocery store means better choices in your fridge. Consider healthier foods, including lean meats, fish, green leafy veggies, and of course whole grains. Stay away from processed foods as much as possible.
- Eating foods low in saturated fat and cholesterol and high in fiber can help prevent high blood cholesterol. Limiting salt or sodium in your diet can also lower your blood pressure.
Maintain a healthy weight. Being fat can literally take years from your life expectancy, time away from your family, and undermine the quality of your life.
- If you know your weight and height, you can calculate your BMI at CDC’s Assessing Your Weight Web site.
Exercise often. It’s not enough to just park your car away from the mall entrance for a few extra steps. Prolonged physical activity that helps you “break a sweat” is what you seek and will help you manage a healthy weight and lower cholesterol and blood pressure. A triple-win! Talk to your doctor before starting any strenuous workout routine.
Don’t smoke.Cigarette smoking increases your risk for heart disease, lung cancer, throat cancer, dental problems, and bad breath. Smoke at your peril. Can I get any clearer. Your doctor can suggest ways to help you quit. You can do it!
African American adults are more likely to be diagnosed with coronary heart disease, and they are more likely to die from heart disease. Although African American adults are 40% more likely to have high blood pressure, they are 10% less likely than their non-Hispanic White counterparts to have their blood pressure under control.
Adhere to these additional steps to reduce the risk your risk for heart disease.
- Have your cholesterol checked regularly. If you have high cholesterol in your family tree, this is critical. Your doctor can test your cholesterol levels at least once every few years. Talk with your doctor.
- Monitor your blood pressure. High blood pressure has no symptoms, so be aware.
- Manage your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar levels. Discuss treatment options with your doctor.
- Take your medicine as prescribed. If you take medication to treat high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or diabetes, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
- Talk with your health care provider honestly. You and your doctor should work as a team and that requires open communication. Discuss your concerns, challenges, and everything related to your treatment plan. In fact, bring a list of questions to your next doctor appointment.
The bottom line is that heart disease does not have to take your life or your quality of life. Don’t black men have enough to deal with? Make heart health a top priority. For more information and resources in your area, contact the American Heart Association.