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Tue, Feb 20, 2024 at 07:05 PM

You Can’t Beat a Healthy Heart: Dr. Amanda Storey shares tips to maintain a healthy heart

February is all about romance, but it also is heart month so let’s remember to show our hearts some love.

Dr. Amanda Storey of Grant Primary Care shared with a crowd of GoldCare55+ seniors some easy ways to make their hearts healthier.

“Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the U.S. even though it is mostly preventable,” she said.

She suggested making some modifications in your lifestyle to make your ticker happy. The main culprits are:

  • Smoking
  • Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Unhealthy diet

“Know your numbers,” Dr. Storey warned.

For blood pressure, numbers should be less than 140/90. She recommends monitoring your own so you will know for sure.

Watch your salt intake, Dr. Storey advised. A healthy amount is only one teaspoon a day for adults, although the majority of people get far more than that.

A good number for cholesterol is less than 100, she said. HDL ‘good’ cholesterol should be higher than 50. LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol should be less than 100 and triglycerides less than 150.

Fasting blood sugar ideally should be less than 100.

For a healthy heart diet, Dr. Storey recommends eating one-ingredient foods. High on the list are:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Whole grains
  • Fish/beans for protein
  • Nuts/olive oil for healthy fats

The real biggie in heart health, of course, is exercise. That’s because a sedentary lifestyle is an independent risk factor for premature development of heart disease.

“Exercise is such a powerful tool we have to improve heart health,” Dr. Storey explained.

Only 150 minutes of exercise per week will make a tremendous difference. You should find the activity that is the right fit for you so you will stick with it.

If it’s walking, try to get between 7,000-10,000 steps a day.

“It’s never too late to make changes to optimize heart health,” she said.