Heart disease is the leading cause of death for American men and women, but don’t let that discourage you. If you are at-risk for heart disease, you might be interested in knowing a prescription is just one part of the solution. To start your heart-healthy life today, you can conveniently buy Zetia online. Combine it with a heart-healthy lifestyle, and you may prevent strokes and heart attacks.
Monitor Your Prescription Drug Regimen
Taking Zetia alone lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol levels by about 20 percent. Studies show that combining it with a low-dose statin drug reduces LDL another 15 to 23 percent. Zetia diminishes the amount of cholesterol your small intestine absorbs from your diet. Statin drugs prevent your liver from producing cholesterol. Ezetimibe is the only statin add-on drug that has shown cardiovascular benefits. This combination may help you, especially if a statin alone hasn’t controlled your cholesterol.
While cholesterol-lowering medications are effective, medication alone won’t counteract unhealthy habits. To promote heart health, also follow some of these diet and exercise tips.
Adopt a Heart-Healthy Diet
A low-cholesterol/low-fat diet is the logical way to reduce your cholesterol levels and heart disease risk factors; however, you can consider some other suggestions.
High-LDL cholesterol diet. Decrease your saturated fat intake to lower your LDL cholesterol.
Elevated triglyceride diet. Limit your sugar and alcohol consumption to reduce your triglyceride level.
Anti-Inflammatory diet.Combat inflammation that instigates cholesterol particle oxidation. Choose a variety of fresh anti-inflammatory food over processed, packaged and fast food.
Reduce sugars and refined carbs. Sugar elevates insulin levels, irritates blood vessel linings and promotes high blood pressure while increasing cell oxidation and metabolic syndrome risk. Besides sweets and soft drinks, restrict refined carbohydrates.
Limit trans fats. Read food labels and avoid anything that includes trans-fatty acids, vegetable shortening and partially hydrogenated oils.
Consume omega-3s. Include anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty-acid sources like salmon, walnuts and flaxseed. You can also take a daily fish oil supplement instead.
Eat more fruits and vegetables. Antioxidant-rich berries, other fruits, dark-green leafy plants and vegetables fight inflammation and free-radical formation.
Enjoy Heart-Healthy Snacks and Foods
Replacing saturated-fat snacks with unsaturated-fat options can lower blood cholesterol levels.The following are several options to add to your diet.
Pistachios. Several studies show adding two to four ounces of pistachios per day to a low-fat diet reduced total and LDL cholesterol levels by about 10 percent in four weeks. Just an ounce of roasted, salted pistachio kernels contains high levels of unsaturated fats — seven grams of monounsaturated and four grams of polyunsaturated. Pistachios also provide six grams of protein and all essential amino acids.
Sunflower seeds. One ounce of dry-roasted, salted sunflower kernels provides three grams of monounsaturated and 10 grams of polyunsaturated fats. This snack also contains five grams of protein, all essential amino acids and high amounts of vitamin B-6, vitamin E and selenium.
Fiber. Studies link a high-fiber diet (at least 25 grams per day) with a lower heart disease risk. The average American consumes only about 14 grams of fiber a day. Soluble fiber in oats, beans and citrus fruits helps reduce LDL cholesterol levels. Eating whole grains like brown rice and whole-wheat pasta boosts your total fiber intake through insoluble fiber, which aids in digestion. Fiber also can improve triglyceride levels.
Chocolate. A study found that people who ate chocolate were more likely to survive heart attacks than those who abstained. A 1-ounce daily serving provides health benefits without causing weight gain.
Turn Everyday Activities Into Exercise
To get the recommended 30 minutes of exercise almost every day, you don’t need to join an expensive fitness center. Instead, think outside the gym. Many typical daily activities double as exercise. You may complete routine tasks more eagerly when the benefits are twofold.
Park your car at the opposite end of the parking lot. Walk to and from your destination.
Exit buses and subways early. Walk the rest of the way.
Forgo elevators and escalators. Take the stairs instead.
Walk inside or outside of your building during breaks or lunch.
Make house cleaning and yard work more exercise than chores.
Walk your dog more often.
Transform after-dinner time with family or friends into a walking ritual.
Laugh Your Heart Into Good Health
A study found that watching a funny movie increases blood flow. A hearty belly laugh can compel 20 percent more blood to flow through your body. How? Laughter relaxes and expands your blood-vessel wall lining.
Accept the Challenge!
Need more convincing that a few diet and exercise changes can decrease your risk of heart disease and boost your heart health? Accept the challenge — and your happy heart will serve you even longer. Then, you can celebrate your new heart-healthy lifestyle by laughing all the way to the chocolate shop.
About the Author: Dr. Rodney Sewell is a physician who lives and works in Atlanta.