What can you do now to reduce your risk for heart attack and stroke? Here is our science-based recipe with ten “ingredients” to keep your heart, brain and the more than 60,000 miles of blood vessels in your body healthy:
- Get educated. With optimal medical care, all heart attacks and strokes are potentially preventable. To detect this disease at the earliest, most treatable stage, the BaleDoneen Method uses advanced lab and imaging tests to check for arterial plaque (disease) and Red Flags for increased risk for developing it.
- Move more. Exercise has such powerful benefits that it’s been called “the ultimate wonder drug.” Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, such as walking, biking, or swimming. Check with your medical provider before starting a new workout to make sure it’s right for you.
- Healthy lifestyle. An optimal lifestyle reduces CVD and stroke risk by up to 90%! That includes watching your weight and eating a heart-healthy diet. A high-sugar diet triples risk for fatal CVD, while a diet that’s high in fruit and vegetables has the opposite effect.
- No nicotine. Nicotine use and exposure shortens your life expectancy by 10 years.
- Have your blood pressure checked. Know your numbers and aim for a reading of 115/75.
- Get checked for all forms of harmful cholesterol. Ask your medical provider to check your levels of apolipoprotein B-100 (ApoB). Wider use of this $20 blood test, which can be done at the same time as the standard test, could prevent 500,000 heart attacks and strokes over the next ten years, a recent study found. Also get a one-time $20 test to check for elevated levels of lipoprotein (a) an inherited cholesterol disorder that triples risk for heart attacks.
- Get checked for prediabetes. Also known as “insulin resistance,” this disorder is the underlying cause of 70% of heart attacks. We recommend the two-hour oral glucose tolerance test as the most accurate blood sugar test.
- See your dental provider. A landmark BaleDoneen study was the first to identify high-risk oral bacteria as a contributing CAUSE of CVD. Regular cleanings are vital to remove harmful bacteria from your system. Taking excellent care of your teeth has also been linked to a longer, healthier life!
- Sleep well. Six to eight hours a night is the sweet spot to help keep your heart healthy.
- Save a life. Tell a friend and teach a friend this recipe. You could save a life!