Heart Health: Myth Vs. Fact

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Keep Your Heart Health In Mind

Are you heart healthy? Well, do you really even know? Check out these heart health myths and how they can be holding you back from truly being as healthy as possible!

What are some heart health myths?

Heart health is a hot topic. Turn on any health-related TV show, open any health magazine, or turn on the radio, and you will be bombarded with information on how to improve your heart health. While all this information has good intentions, it can cause a lot of confusion.

People get overwhelmed with the information available about heart health and misinterpret the facts.

This leads to the development of heart health myths. Believing heart health myths could be putting your health in jeopardy.

In an effort to help you improve your health, read below to learn the truth about popular heart health myths.

Heart Health Myth No. 1: People With High Blood Pressure Exhibit Symptoms That Warn Them of This Condition

Heart Health- Myth Vs. FactMany people assume there are physical symptoms associated with hypertension, the clinical term for high blood pressure. These individuals will assume that because they don’t exhibit any physical symptoms, such as an anxious feeling, persistent headache, facial flushing or nervousness, they don’t have high blood pressure. Unfortunately, that isn’t true.

People with high blood pressure rarely exhibit any symptoms. In fact, heart disease — which is often caused by high blood pressure — is often called the silent killer. It has earned this nickname because most people don’t know they have heart disease until it is too late.

Even though there are no symptoms associated with high blood pressure, that doesn’t mean you sit back and wait until something bad happens. There are several actions you can take, including:

  • Work with a health care professional to control your diabetes — either through dietary changes or medication, such as insulin or prescription pills.
  • Regularly monitor your glucose levels.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Lead a healthy dietary lifestyle — watch how many carbohydrates and sugars you eat, and increase your intake of fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
  • Monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis and look for any changes.
  • Request your primary care physician runs cholesterol screenings on a regular basis.

Heart Health Myth No. 2: People With Controlled Diabetes Don’t Have to Worry About Heart Disease

Diabetics are at an increased risk for heart disease. In fact, The American Heart Association estimates that diabetics are 2-4 times more likely to experience a heart attack or stroke than people without diabetes. Unfortunately, many people wrongly assume that if you control your diabetes, you are no longer at risk for heart attacks or strokes.

The truth is, even if you control your diabetes, you are still at a higher risk for high blood pressure, heart disease and high cholesterol.

Control over your diabetes will, however, help reduce your risk of developing these problems, but it will not completely eliminate them from your life.

Things you can do if you have diabetes to reduce your risk of heart disease include:

  • Work with a health care professional to control your diabetes — either through dietary changes or medication, such as insulin or prescription pills.
  • Regularly monitor your glucose levels.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Lead a healthy dietary lifestyle — monitor how many carbohydrates and sugars you eat, and increase your intake of low-sugar fruits, vegetables and lean meats.
  • Monitor your blood pressure on a regular basis and look for any changes.
  • Request your primary care physician runs cholesterol screenings on a regular basis

Heart Health Myth No. 3: High Cholesterol Only Impacts People Who Are Overweight

Heart Health Myth Vs. Fact FoodWeight does play a factor in high cholesterol, but it isn’t the only factor that determines cholesterol levels. Factors such as family history, ethnicity, stress, what you eat, how well you sleep and how much you exercise can all impact your cholesterol levels regardless of weight.

When it comes to controlling your cholesterol, there are some factors that you have little control over — such as family history and ethnicity — but there are some factors you can control. For example:

  • Eliminating foods from your diet that are high in trans fat and saturated fat.
  • Increasing exercise to at least 30 to 60 minutes a day.
  • Reducing stress levels.
  • Regularly monitoring cholesterol levels.
  • Increasing your intake of foods that are high in fiber.
  • Developing healthy lifestyle habits, such as getting the regular amount of sleep each night, limiting alcohol intake, and not smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight for your height and gender.

Wrap-Up

After learning the truth about heart health, you know that by making healthy lifestyle changes and working closely with your doctor, you will be able to reduce your risk of developing heart disease or experiencing a heart attack or stroke.

Cheretta A. Clerkley
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