5 Heart Disease Myths Debunked
Last month, we debunked some myths surrounding diabetes and discussed how a plant-based diet can help prevent or reverse the disease. The same goes for heart disease. While the middle of February has many of us thinking about the ones we love and giving them heart-shaped candy and flowers, at Fred and Ricky’s, hearts are always on our minds! It is our mission to make it easy for our loved ones and the community to improve their heart and overall health by offering a wide selection of pre-made heart-healthy foods to go.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America. It’s definitely not a disease to be overlooked. However, there are some common misconceptions about the disease. The following 5 heart disease myths are about to be debunked!
Only men really need to worry about heart disease. This is completely false! Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. However, the symptoms differ in women than men. When having a heart attack, for example, women do not always experience chest pain. They are more likely to have shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting and back or jaw pain.
If you’re young, you don’t need to worry about heart disease. Taking care of your health is important no matter what age you are. How you treat your body and your heart now will affect your risk for heart disease and other health problems later in life. Although 1 in 3 Americans have heart disease, they’re not all senior citizens. Age is not the only factor when it comes to heart disease. Obesity and diabetes are heart disease risk factors that are prevalent in adolescence and middle-aged people.
Heart disease runs in the family, so there’s no way to prevent it. You may be at a higher risk than others if heart disease runs in the family, but there are ways to dramatically reduce your risk. Keep your heart healthy with a whole-food, plant-based diet, get active, control your blood sugar and blood pressure, avoid smoking, and maintain a healthy weight. By simply changing your diet and eating lots of fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains, you can significantly lower your risk of a stroke, heart attack and other related diseases.
You would know if you had high blood pressure or high cholesterol because you would have symptoms. High cholesterol actually doesn’t cause any symptoms, so many people who have high cholesterol are unaware that their levels may be too high. Also, high blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because many people don’t know they have it. It’s important to ask your doctor to check your numbers and cholesterol levels. Improving these numbers will help prevent a heart attack, stroke and other health problems.
You should avoid exercise if you have heart disease or have experienced a heart attack. This is absolutely not true! Research has shown that those with cardiovascular disease who regularly workout along with other healthy lifestyle changes, like switching to a plant-based diet, live longer than those who don’t. The American Heart Association actually recommends at least 2.5 hours of physical activity per week*. But, please consult your doctor for advice on physical activity and what’s right for you.
Heart disease can easily be managed, prevented and reversed with a whole-food, plant-based diet along with a healthy lifestyle. Fred and Ricky’s grab-and-go plant-based foods are delicious, quick and heart-healthy, making it easy to live a heart healthy lifestyle.
Do you have a success story? Tell us how a plant-based diet has helped you! Email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.