With heart disease being the number one cause of adult deaths in the United States, heart health is on the top of everyone’s mind. There are specific foods and actions to take to help maintain a healthy heart. Call or visit AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale for information on maintaining a healthy heart. Our physicians will be able to provide resources to help answer any questions or address any concerns. Here are a few actions that can hurt the quality of your heart:

Smoking

It is common knowledge that smoking is bad for you. It can cause damage to your lungs or airway, cause chronic bronchitis or cancer. In terms of your heart, the tar from inhaling cigarette smoke becomes sticky and can stick to your arteries. When this happens, it becomes difficult for your heart to pump blood through these arteries, resulting in a heart attack. Secondhand smoke can also have the same effect, so it’s best to avoid it at all costs. 

Avoiding Exercise

Exercise is another factor that is good for your overall health. In terms of heart health, by exercising at least 30 minutes a day, you are making your heart stronger, just like any other muscle. By exercising, your heart will operate more efficiently and be better at pumping blood through your body. This also helps to keep blood pressure under control. 

Being Overweight

In addition to an increased chance of diabetes, being overweight also increases a patient’s chance of developing high blood pressure. Having high blood pressure can increase the chance of heart attack, stroke, or sudden cardiac death. Blood pressure is also connected to having high cholesterol, which can cause any of the mentioned heart problems.  

Having an Unhealthy Diet

Processed foods, trans fats, sodium, and red meat can all impact your heart in a negative way. While they don’t all directly impact your heart, they cause other issues such as high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Additionally, sodium causes your body to return water, which can also cause high blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are the best things to eat. AFC Urgent Care Hillsdale can make recommendations for other foods based on a patient’s specific needs. 

Drinking Alcohol

Similar to eating certain foods, alcohol indirectly causes heart problems. By drinking a lot of alcohol, it causes your heart rate to rise temporarily and can cause high blood pressure. Drinking a lot, frequently, can cause these problems to be severe or chronic, as well as an irregular heartbeat.