Is Heart Disease Reversible?
If you’ve been diagnosed with heart disease, be sure to follow up with your doctor regularly and take your medication as prescribed. Although you may not be able to completely reverse heart disease, there are some actions you can take that may help your heart and prevent further heart-related complications.
Please consult your health care professional before making any drastic changes to your diet or exercise routine, especially if you suffer with any chronic ailments or have health concerns that involve diet or exercise restrictions.
Some cardiovascular experts recommend that patients with heart disease follow a vegetarian diet. This is largely due to the fact that the typical meat-filled American diet contains an enormous amount of dietary cholesterol and saturated fat. Plant-based foods contain zero cholesterol and a well-balanced vegetarian diet contains very little saturated fat. Several studies have shown that lowering your intake of fat and cholesterol can vastly improve the symptoms and complications associated with heart disease.
If you’re not ready to commit to a vegetarian diet, here are a few less drastic dietary changes that may make a difference in the progression of heart disease.
- Eat more omega-3 fats like salmon, tuna, or other cold-water fish. Flaxseed and walnuts, almonds and some other nuts also contain a large percentage of omega-3s.
- Eat more monounsaturated fats. This type of fat is found in avocados and olive oil. It’s been shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
- Increase your intake of soluble fiber to 35 grams or more per day. Soluble fiber is found in beans, oats, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables. One study found that a high intake of soluble fiber lowers the risk of a cardiovascular event by 10 percent.
A sedentary lifestyle may be extremely dangerous for heart disease patients. Experts say it’s a critical risk factor on its own, but also increases the risk of heart threatening conditions, such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes. One study suggests that inactive individuals have a 64 percent greater risk of dying from heart disease than people who are active.
Beginning an active lifestyle may be easier than it sounds. Experts recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of activity five days per week, which could be broken down into three 10-minute segments a day. Anything that makes your body move counts as exercise: walking outside, taking the stairs instead of the escalator, or simply skipping a drive-through and going inside. Exercise is important because it may decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels and increase blood circulation, thus helping blood vessels stay healthy.
Whether you have heart disease or not, it’s extremely important to be conscious of both diet and exercise every day. Taking even small steps to improve your health will help in the long-run.
If you have been diagnosed with heart disease, make a plan to check in with your doctor every three months to check your condition and be sure to take your medications as instructed. If you need help affording your medications, download a free Watertree Health Prescription Discount Card, request a card be mailed to you, or text CARD to 95577. All brand name and generic medications are eligible for savings with our card–including those for heart disease.
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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