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Natural Approach to Heart Disease

How to Deal With Heart Disease Through a Natural Approach

Choosing healthy lifestyle changes can help you reduce the risk of coronary heart disease or minimize its damage. This includes:
  • Eating a heart-healthy diet (see Diet and Heart Disease)
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Exercising regularly
  • Quitting (or not starting) smoking.
Many people wonder about other natural approaches, such as herbs or dietary supplements. There is no scientific evidence to show that herbs or dietary supplements can actually reduce the chances for developing heart disease. In fact, some can actually increase your risk (see Vitamin E and Heart Disease).

Heart-Healthy Diet

In order to reduce the chances for heart disease naturally, you should follow a heart-healthy diet. This is a diet that's low in fat, cholesterol, and salt, and high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fiber.
A heart-healthy diet includes the following:
  • Eight to 10 percent of the day's total calories from saturated fat.
  • 30 percent or less of the day's total calories from fat.
  • Less than 300 milligrams of dietary cholesterol a day.
  • Less than 2,400 milligrams of sodium a day.
  • Just enough calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight and reduce your blood cholesterol level. (Ask your doctor or registered dietitian what is a reasonable calorie level for you.)
Also, several foods have been shown to decrease the risk for developing heart disease.
(Click Heart Healthy Foods for more information about specific types of foods that can reduce your risk for heart disease.)
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