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7 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke or Heart Attack

Heart disease is the number one killer in the U.S., and stroke is the fifth leading cause of death among adults. Their prevalence is largely the result of poor diet, lack of exercise, and certain harmful lifestyle choices. Thankfully, there are some simple preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk and protect both your cardiovascular and overall health.

Keep these seven helpful tips in mind:

1) Maintain a sensible diet

Fried, sugary, processed foods are not nourishing for our bodies and could increase the risk of serious health complications. Make it your goal to fill your plate with a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and fish.


2) Quit Smoking

Smoking dramatically increases your risk for a host of health issues, but second-hand smoke is equally toxic. Approximately 46,000 people die annually of heart disease caused by second-hand smoke exposure. If you are a smoker, quitting can be one of the best decisions you can make for the sake of your health.


3) Set a Goal for Weight Loss

Your risk of heart attack and stroke increases if you are overweight or obese. Set a reasonable, attainable weight loss goal. Losing even 5-10 percent of your total body weight can greatly reduce your risk by lowering your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.


4) Do Moderate Exercise Each Day

You can lower your chances of a heart attack by 30-50 percent with moderate amounts of exercise. Shoot for 30 minutes of aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week.


5) Receive Regular Dental Care

Interestingly, receiving regular dental cleanings can cut your risk of stroke by 13 percent and heart attack by 24 percent. This is because your dentist can spot signs of heart disease earlier than your doctor can by checking for symptoms like loose teeth or swollen gums. This early detection can allow you to receive treatment sooner.


6) Indulge a Little, but Not Too Much

Did you know that wine and dark chocolate consumption can actually help your heart? Just remember to keep it in moderation. Limit consumption to one drink if you’re a woman and two if you’re a man. Enjoying small portions of chocolate a few times a week can lower your risk of heart disease by nearly 40 percent and cut the risk of diabetes or stroke by 30 percent.


7) Pay Attention to Your Symptoms

If something just doesn’t feel right, you should do more than just hope that your symptoms will go away. If you experience symptoms like changes in heart rhythm, shortness of breath, or exhaustion, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor right away.

As the old adage goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To learn more about the luxury healthcare services we offer in our Dallas and Frisco offices, please contact Diamond Physicians at (214) 382-0730.