20 daily changes that will improve your heart health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking are key risk factors for heart disease. Other risk factors include diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, and excessive alcohol consumption. But there are many ways to reduce the risk of heart disease. Here are some of the top ways to take care of your heart and maintain good cardiovascular health.

Lack of exercise, a poor diet and other unhealthy habits can take their toll over the years. Anyone at any age can benefit from simple steps to keep their heart healthy during each decade of life. Here’s how:

No matter what your age, everyone can benefit from a healthy diet and adequate physical activity.

Choose a healthy eating plan. The food you eat can decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Choose foods low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium. As part of a healthy diet, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, fish (preferably oily fish-at least twice per week), nuts, legumes and seeds and try eating some meals without meat. Select lower fat dairy products and poultry (skinless). Limit sugar-sweetened beverages and red meat. If you choose to eat meat, select the leanest cuts available.

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