How to Treat Heart Disease

How to Treat Heart Disease

Prevention is the best way to treat heart disease. Heart disease includes many conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels around it, including heart failure, angina, heart attack and heart arrhythmias. If diagnosed with these problems, there are steps to take to eliminate heart disease or reduce the risks it presents.

Things You'll Need
  • Exercise
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Unsaturated fats
  • Fat-free dairy
  • Medication
  • Education
Tips

1. Exercise. Regular exercise--30 minutes three to five days a week--is crucial to preventing and treating heart disease. Cardiovascular exercise such as biking, jogging, walking and swimming exercise the heart and help maintain a healthy body weight, which is good for heart health.

2. Eat fruit. Fruits are rich in fiber and antioxidants, which help lower cholesterol and fight heart disease. Antioxidant-rich fruits include citrus, blueberries and strawberries, which are bright in color.

3. Eat vegetables. Also high in fiber and antioxidants, vegetables like spinach, broccoli and sweet potatoes can lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure. High cholesterol and blood pressure can lead to heart attack.

4. Eat whole grains. They are an excellent source of fiber, which lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack. Whole grain foods include whole wheat breads and pastas, and popcorn.

5. Consume unsaturated fat. Not all fat is bad fat. Unsaturated fats found olive oil, nuts, avocados and fish help lower the unhealthy LDL cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease.

6. Consume fat-free or low-fat dairy products. Dairy is a great source of nutrients, such as calcium, protein and vitamin D. It's also high in fat, which can lead to heart disease. Instead, choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.

7. Consult a physician for medication. Even with increased exercise and a healthy diet, some people may still need medication to treat heart disease. These may include aspirin, beta-blockers or statin drugs. Medication can prevent the need for heart surgery.

8. Know the risk factors. Many heart disease risks are controllable and being aware of this can prevent heart disease or treat it. Quitting smoking, losing weight and increasing physical activity can prevent heart disease.