5. Fasting blood glucose less than 100 milligrams/deciliter
Any meal or snack high in unhealthy carbohydrates like sugar and refined grains generates a rapid rise in blood glucose and then insulin to compensate for the rise in blood sugar. The insulin released from eating too many carbohydrates promotes fat and makes it more difficult for your body to lose fat and excess weight, particularly around your belly, is one of the major contributors to heart disease. Simple Steps to a Healthy Heart continued…" width="154" height="115" align="right" />
Further, studies have shown that people with a fasting blood sugar level of 100-125 mg/dl had a nearly 300% increase higher risk of having coronary heart disease than people with a level below 79 mg/dl.
Normal fasting blood glucose is below 100 mg/dl, but for optimal health it should be closer to 80.
Reducing your intake of grains, including corn-based foods, and all sweets and potatoes will help to lower your blood glucose if it is elevated.
6. Eat a healthy diet
See heart healthy foods below!
7. Optimize Your Vitamin D Level
Studies show that people with the lowest average vitamin D levels had a 124 percent greater risk of dying from all causes and a 378 percent greater risk of dying from a heart problem!
A previous study even found women who take vitamin D supplements lower their risk of death from heart disease by one-third.
It’s also been suggested that the more sunlight you get, the better your cardiovascular health will be, as there are a number of physiological mechanisms triggered by vitamin D production through sunlight exposure that act to fight heart disease, such as:
- An increase in your body’s natural anti-inflammatory cytokines
- The suppression of vascular calcification
- The inhibition of vascular smooth muscle growth
8. Manage Your Stress Levels with Healthy Emotional Outlets
One of the most common contributing factors to heart disease is unresolved emotional stresses. Anger, stress, guilt, sadness — really any emotion that doesn’t make you feel good — can lead to heart attacks, obesity and strokes. Even the best diet in the world is not likely to overcome Simple Steps to a Healthy Heart continued…" width="114" height="114" align="left" />the damage created by lingering emotional stresses.
Further, when your body is under the stress response, your cortisol levels rise. And when your cortisol is chronically elevated, you’ll tend to gain weight around your midsection, which further increases your heart disease risk.
9. Last, but CERTAINLY not least…Maintain a healthy, functioning nervous system!
Remember, heart disease is one of the easiest diseases to prevent and avoid, but you simply must be proactive in order to do this. Many people don’t realize that the most common symptom of heart disease is actually sudden death — not chest pain or shortness of breath. Most of the time there are NO warning signs, so that’s why knowing, and monitoring, your risk factors is critical.