Coffee beans in the shape of a heart

Maintaining a Healthy Heart


By: Erin Laughlin


People are lead to believe that cancer is the number one killer of women in America. When in fact the number one killer of women in the U.S is cardiovascular disease. According to nutrition expert Johnny Bowden, PhD, CNS, mortality rates show that 1 out of 3 women will lose their lives due to heart disease or stroke. It is important to maintain a proper diet and live a healthy lifestyle for proper cardiovascular health. Here are a few different ways to reduce the risk of heart disease.


In America, it appears everywhere you look there is a fast food restaurant within walking distance. While fast food is a quick and easy option for when you are on the go, it will not provide you with the energy needed to make it through the day. All the fast food that is consumed, is full of processed carbs and sugars. By reducing the amount of carbohydrates and sugars we eat, the risk of getting heart disease is reduced. Most people live very busy lifestyles, so an easy way to avoid fast food is to meal prep. This is as simple as packing your meal the night before. There are some people who even meal prep for the entire week. Doing this allows you to not only prepare for the week but also to have healthy options readily available to eat throughout the week.


We are taught to stay away from fats to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle. However, this is not the case. Studies show that fats and saturated fats do not cause heart disease. They only become unhealthy and a risk when eaten in excess or when paired with sugar. This does not mean completely cut out all fats and all sugars, just try not to eat them in conjunction. These two are perfectly fine to eat however, they must be eaten in moderation. The combination of fat and sugar is very bad for your body. It can lead to loss of energy and weight gain, thus, putting you at risk for cardiovascular disease.


A lot of fast food places have fried food which is cooked in vegetable oil, canola oil, or even peanut oil. These are very unhealthy for your heart. To keep heart disease at bay and reduce the risk of having a heart attack, change your oil intake. Decrease the amount of vegetable oil you intake and, increase the amount of omega-3’s such as fish oil. Research shows that the ideal ratio of omega-6’s to omega3’s is 1:1. If you abide by this ratio it should be quite simple to keep the risk of heart disease low.


Since childhood, everybody has been told to take vitamins. However, as time passes, people stop taking these vitamins and they start to venture out and try different supplements. There is a multitude of supplements in the world from biotin to vitamin C and they all have different purposes that will benefit you in the long run. Some of the supplements recommended by Dr. Bowden are, omega-3 (fish oil), magnesium, and vitamin D. If you have a pre-existing heart condition two supplements that Bowden recommends are D-ribose and L-carnitine.


By maintaining a healthy lifestyle you can keep the risk of cardiovascular disease low. As the saying goes, “out with the old, in with the new”.  Habits are hard to break, but breaking unhealthy habits can lead to a longer life. If you make just a few simple changes to your diet and daily routine, you can greatly decrease the risk of having a heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and many other health problems.

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