Be Aware of These Heart Health Misconceptions
Each year, heart disease kills more people in the United States than all types of cancer combined. Most of these deaths are a result of a heart attack in people with coronary artery disease. As more and more people adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, the deaths of this disease are starting to drop. Yet, myths around heart health and disease persist. Here are a few you should know.
Myth: It’s okay to have higher blood pressure when you’re older
Blood pressure tends to rise with age, but the fact that this trend is common doesn’t mean that it’s good for you. This happens because artery walls become stiff with age, which forces the heart to pump harder. The overworked heart muscle becomes less effective and pumps even harder to meet the body’s demand for blood. This high blood pressure increases the risk of heart attack and stroke. If your blood pressure is above 140/90, ask your doctor what you can do to bring it down.
Myth: You only get heart disease if it runs in your family
Genetics sometimes plays a role in your heart health. However, 90 percent of heart disease results from harmful lifestyle choices such as a poor diet, smoking, and little to no exercise. These harmful choices can raise the level of cholesterol and other harmful fats in your blood, increase your blood pressure, and cause you to develop metabolic syndrome or type 2 diabetes. In turn, this raises the risk of heart disease. If heart disease does run in your family, then adopting a healthy diet and lifestyle becomes even more important.
Myth: If you have heart disease, you should eat as little fat as possible
Not all fats are created equally. Trans fat and saturated fats are possibly the worst. Trans fats are found in many baked goods and processed foods, raising bad LDL cholesterol levels. Saturated fats come from animal products such as meat and dairy, and are the only source of dietary cholesterol – no plants have cholesterol. Replacing these unhealthy fats with healthy monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats (think avocados, nuts, seeds, vegetable oil) can improve heart health and lower bad LDL cholesterol levels.
From all of the team at Jack Stone Insurance Agency, we hope that the truth behind these myths helps you better understand your heart health! For all of your personal and commercial insurance needs, contact us today.