Heart disease by the numbers:
- Heart disease claims one million lives in the U.S. each year and is the number one cause of death for both men and women.
- Every 33 seconds, someone dies from cardiovascular disease in the U.S.
- Over 920,000 Americans will have a heart attack this year, half of which will occur with no prior symptoms or warnings.
- Sudden Cardiac Death kills 680 Americans each day. Of the 250,000 annual deaths, one half are under age 65.
- 435,000 American women suffer a heart attack annually; of that number 83,000 are under age 65 and 35,000 under age 55.
- 42% of women who suffer a heart attack die within the first year, compared to 24% of men.
The good news – heart disease is preventable and your risk is reduced by leading a healthy lifestyle:
- 150 minutes a week of moderate to intense physical activity and strength training
- Drinking no more than 1 glass of alcohol per day for women/2 for men
- Not smoking. Smokers are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack and have an increased risk of stroke
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Managing stress
- Eating healthy
The foods listed below can lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase your HDL (good) cholesterol levels:
- Cold water fish: mackerel, salmon, herring, sardines and albacore tuna
- Healthy oil: cook with olive, canola, safflower or sunflower oil
- Go nuts: eat walnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds, cashews, and pistachios
- Fiber rich foods: whole grains, oatmeal, barley, flax seed, beans, and lentils
- Vegetables: broccoli, cabbage, carrots, pumpkin and sweet potatoes
- Fruits: bananas, pears, apples, avocados, prune and berries
Find out more about preventing heart disease and check out heart healthy tips for women by their age.