Heart Disease is a Leading Cause of Death

If you think that cancer is the number one killer, you would be right. Certainly, there is a lot of information in the media about this devastating disease. You may be surprised to learn, though, that cancer has only recently made it to the top of the list of causes of death. Heart disease was the reigning number one killer for a many years, and is still a very serious health concern.

What is Heart Disease?

Heart disease is not a single medical condition, but rather a term that describes several conditions that have a negative effect on the heart muscle and how it functions. The HeartMart website describes most of the common conditions – take a visit! What you learn might help save your life or the life of a loved one.

Factors that Contribute to Heart Disease

A number of factors have a hand in your likelihood of developing heart disease.

  1. Genetics

You have absolutely no control over your family history, but it is a major heart disease risk factor. If a close relative has had heart disease, you have a greater chance of developing this condition yourself. That doesn’t mean you should throw up your hands and conclude that there is nothing you can do. An increased risk is not a sure thing and if you focus on the things you can control (level of physical activity, diet and being a non-smoker), you may go through life without developing heart disease at all.

  1. Smoking

Cigarette smoking is an extremely hard habit to break. The nicotine contained in cigarettes is a highly-addictive substance. When a smoker takes a drag off a cigarette, they experience a rush from the nicotine within a few seconds, and this is what the nicotine addict craves.

  1. Obesity

Obesity is another condition that increases a person’s risk of developing heart disease, and unfortunately, it is on the rise in the United States.

Obesity is defined as weighing 30 percent or more above the recommended weight standards for an individual’s height.

In your quest to lessen your risk of developing heart disease, it’s important to keep your cholesterol levels down to the recommended range. If you have been told by your doctor that you have high cholesterol, you can try to control your condition by making changes to your diet. Medications may be prescribed to regulate your cholesterol levels as well.

The best things you can do for yourself when trying to prevent heart disease is to eat well and be physically active. A balanced diet that includes a variety of foods will help you look and feel better. You do need some fat in your diet, so don’t think that by eliminating all fats that you are going to lessen your risk of developing heart disease. Regular exercise helps to strengthen the heart muscle and burns fat, too.

Keep an eye on the HeartMart blog and plan on visiting regularly. We will be posting healthy diet plans for you to follow, along with suggestions for exercise routines you may want to try. Other posts will deal with how to determine whether you are at risk for developing heart disease.

Being Overweight Overworks Heart

Being overweight or obese does increase the likelihood that you will be diagnosed with heart disease during your lifetime. The risk does diminish if  you can get to a heart healthy weight, though. Following a balanced diet that includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, dairy products and whole grains is a good place to start. There are no “good” or "bad" foods, and you can still have a treat on special occasions, so long as you eat healthy foods most of the time. Try eating well at least 80 percent of the time, and you can enjoy special foods at other times, too.

Adopt a Heart Healthy Diet

Did you know that the foods you choose to eat have a direct effect on your heart health? They certainly do! While you may be drawn to foods that are high in saturated fat and sugar, since they tend to be appealing, a better choice is to load up your plate with a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Do include whole grains and low-fat dairy products in your daily eating plan. Your heart will definitely thank you for it, and if you decide in advance that you are on an adventure in healthy eating, you won’t find it boring to eat well.

What is a Heart Attack?

The term "heart attack" is one that we are all familiar with, but do you know what it means? A heart attack occurs when blood cannot reach the heart due to a blockage. The human heart operates like the other organs, in that it cannot function properly blood flow is impeded. Most people who suffer a heart attack have a buildup of plaque, which is a fatty substance, in their arteries. A blood clot can break away and block off the already-narrow arteries leading to the heart, with sometimes fatal results for the victim. We plan to discuss heart attacks at greater length in a future blog post.

Healthy Hearts for Longer Lives

Welcome to the HeartMart blog. The Heartmart website is chock full of information about heart health, heart conditions, heart-healthy diets, and much more.

Our goal here at HeartMart is to keep you informed about new medications being used to treat heart conditions, as well as the latest advances in surgical procedures. If it’s in the news and relevant to the subject of heart health, you will find it right here.

The Heartmart blog will cover the following topics:

  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Cardiovascular System
  • Cholesterol
  • Diet supplements
  • Heart conditions
  • Heart disease
  • Heart drugs
  • Heart disease facts
  • Heart health products
  • Heart healthy diet
  • Heart procedures
  • Medical news
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Weight loss

We want to hear from you, too. If there is a topic that isn’t being covered that you would like to learn more about, please let us know and we will add it to our list to address in future posts.

You can look forward to new content being posted here every week, so be sure to bookmark this page and come back to visit often.