Heart Health: It’s Never Too Late
You can't do your best on the job—or anywhere else—if your heart isn't healthy. Heart disease is a dangerous condition, and even a mild heart attack can slow you down and have a negative impact on your lifestyle and workplace productivity.
Fortunately, avoiding a heart attack isn't a matter of luck. You can take positive steps to keep your heart in good shape, starting with a combination of exercise and a healthy diet. You don't have to starve yourself. Just follow these tips to eat your way to better health:
- Eat more fish. A good source of protein, most fish contains omega-3 fatty acids, which can reduce your risk of heart attack (and stroke) by lowering levels of blood fats known as triglycerides.
- Choose lean meats. Avoid fatty and processed meats like bacon, sausage or anything fried. Choose skinless chicken or lean cuts of beef. Better yet, try high-protein, low-fat substitutes like beans and legumes.
- Limit sugar and salt. Sugars add needless calories and are associated with higher cholesterol. Salt can contribute to high blood pressure, one of the risk factors for developing heart disease.
- Eat sensibly. Plan your meals in advance. Packing a lunch for work instead of running out for fast food can help you control your diet and portion sizes.
The right diet can help prevent a heart attack. Even if you've suffered one heart attack though, you can still take control of your health and prevent a second or third one. A Canadian study of patients who had suffered "cardiovascular events" found that those with a heart-healthy diet had a 35 percent lower chance of dying as a result of heart disease, as well as a 28 percent decrease in their risk of congestive heart failure, and a 14 percent reduction in their risk of a second heart attack.