Heart Disease Information
Heart disease is the number one cause of death for American Indians. The incidence of
heart disease twice as high as in non-Indians. It is currently on the rise for American
Heart Disease Risk Factors
obesity (particularly if you carry your fat around the middle of the body
Over age 55 or in premature menopause without estrogen replacement (in women)
Family history of heart attack in a close male relative before the age of 55
or in a close female relative before the age of 65
Other risk factors include:
Eating Your Way to a Healthy Heart
Planning meals aimed at reducing blood cholesterol doesn't have to be complicated.
Here are a few suggestions:
Choose fish, poultry, and lean cuts of meat, and remove the fat and skin before eating.
Eat no more than about 6 ounces per day.
Broil, bake, roast, or poach foods rather than fry them.
Cut down on high fat processed meats including sausage, bacon, and such cold
cuts as salami and bologna.
Limit organ meats such as liver, kidney, or brains.
Use skim or low fat milk and cheeses, and low or nonfat yogurt.
Instead of butter, use liquid or soft margarine or vegetable oils high in
unsaturated fats. Use all fats and oils sparingly.
Eat egg yolks only in moderation. Egg whites contain no fat or cholesterol and can be
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, as well as cereals, breads, rice, and pasta made from
enriched or whole grains (for example, rye bread or whole wheat spaghetti).
Many packaged and processed foods are high in saturated fats. Get in the habit of reading
food labels. Look for the "Nutrition Facts" on the label and choose products that are
lowest in fat and saturated fat. Also read product labels for cholesterol content.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!!
Regular physical activity can also help you lower your cholesterol Even low-to
moderate-intensity activity, if done daily, can provide benefits. Examples of such
activity are pleasure walking, gardening, yard work, moderate-to-heavy house-work,
dancing, and home exercise.
More vigorous exercise can raise HDL-cholesterol levels and also will improve the
overall fitness of your heart. This kind of activity is called "aerobic" and includes
jogging, swimming, jumping rope, or brisk walking or bicycling. Regardless of the type
of activity you choose, be sure to buildup your activity level gradually over a period of
several weeks. Also, check with your doctor first if you have any health
problems, or if you are over 50 and are not used to energetic activity and plan
a fairly strenuous program.
THE WARNING SIGNS FOR A HEART ATTACK
Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the
chest lasting for more than a few minutes.
Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.
Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating,
nausea or shortness of breath.
THE WARNING SIGNS FOR A STROKE
Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or
Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or
Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.
Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of
balance or coordination.
Sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Source: American Heart Association
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