In spite of being the leading cause of death in the United States, there are so many myths available out there about the disease that do not do anyone any good.
Considering how important it is to understand the disease to prevent and treat it, here are five common misconceptions about heart disease that we need to stop buying into.
Myth #1 Heart disease is genetic
Yes, some conditions that are linked with or are causes of heart disease are genetic, like coronary artery disease. However, most people get heart disease because of bad diet, smoking, lack of physical activity, and overall unhealthy lifestyle choices. Having a diet high in saturated fats is a bigger risk factor than having a family member who has heart disease.
Myth #2 Heart disease is an old person’s disease
Although it is true that age increases your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, heart disease does not discriminate against age. Those who are overweight or have type 2 diabetes are at a higher risk of getting heart disease, which is a trend that is currently on the rise among younger people.
Myth #3 Heart disease mostly affects men
Yes, men may develop heart disease and coronary artery disease younger than women, but after a certain age, both men and women are at an equal risk of developing heart disease. In fact, more women lose their lives to heart disease every year than they do to breast cancer.
Myth #4 All fats are unhealthy for the heart
Not all fats, just saturated and trans fats are very bad for your heart health. Too much of both is bad for your overall health in general. Keep fatty meats, full-fat dairy products, processed and fried foods, and fast food to a minimum as these are rich in saturated and trans fat. Opt for fish, walnuts, flaxseeds, and cooking with canola oil as these are all rich in unsaturated fats instead of saturated.
Myth #5 Some foods prevent heart disease
There aren’t any miracle foods that can magically prevent heart disease. However, a healthy diet can certainly keep heart disease at bay. A diet rich in legumes, whole grains, fish, fruits, vegetables and vegetable oils is vital. Fish and walnuts are your best friend as they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Pomegranates and blueberries, on the other hand, are rich in antioxidants, so they are heart healthy.
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