How to avoid cholesterol and a second heart attack

Jan 26th, 2021 | By | Category: Health & Fitness

Did you know that 25 percent of the 805,000 heart attacks per year in the U.S. are recurrent heart attacks?

The American Heart Association reports that once you’ve experienced a heart attack, your chance of having another one is higher. In fact, nearly one in five patients who’ve had a heart attack will have another one or a stroke within one year.

While various factors contribute to a heart attack, cholesterol is one of the most important modifiable risk factors. Over time, high levels of bad cholesterol can build up in your arteries and create clogs, making it difficult for blood to flow to where your body needs it. This can ultimately lead to a devastating heart attack. Here are six tips to help manage cholesterol numbers:

  1. Get checked. Stay on top of your numbers by having your cholesterol checked regularly. This is particularly important if you have already experienced a heart attack.
  2. Eat a heart-healthy diet, low in saturated fat and trans-fat. You can reduce these fats in your diet by limiting your intake of fried food, red meat and dairy products made with whole milk, and by cooking with healthy oils, such as vegetable or olive oil. Emphasize fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts, while curbing sugary foods and beverages. Eating this way increases your fiber intake, which can help lower cholesterol.
  3. Be physically active. A sedentary lifestyle lowers HDL (good) cholesterol, which is needed to remove LDL (bad) cholesterol from your arteries. Stay physically active to not only improve your cholesterol, but to also manage your blood pressure. The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 2.5 hours of moderate intensity exercise per week in order to lower high cholesterol.
  4. Quit smoking. According to the CDC, smoking damages blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of arteries, and greatly increases your risk for heart disease.
  5. Manage your weight. Being overweight tends to raise LDS and lower HDL.
  6. Take proper medication. Bad cholesterol can be lowered by lifestyle changes, but diet and exercise alone may not be enough to lower LDL. Medications like statins USA-145-82348 are important in lowering LDL, but patients who’ve had a heart attack may need to talk to their doctor about additional treatments to lower cholesterol even further.

    The right kind of food helps heart attack survivors reduce the risk of another one. (Getty Images Plus)

Source: StatePoint Media