The first step in the prevention of heart attack is lowering risk factors for coronary heart disease (CHD),
following a heart healthy lifestyle and getting ongoing care.
Heart Healthy LifestyleHealthy diet is an important part of a heart healthy lifestyle. A healthy diet includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It also includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, and fat-free or low-fat milk or milk products. A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium (salt), and added sugars.
Weight control reduces risk for CHD, while obesity poses a greater risk for heart attack.
Be as physically active as you can. Physical activity can improve your fitness level and your health. Talk with your doctor about what types of activity are safe for you.
Quit smoking. Smoking can raise your risk of CHD and heart attack.Avoid secondhand smoke.
Treat Related ConditionsTreating conditions that make a heart attack more likely also can help lower your risk for a heart attack. These conditions may include:
- High blood cholesterol. Medicine to lower your cholesterol if diet and exercise aren't enough.
- High blood pressure. You doctor may prescribe medicine to keep your blood pressure under control.
- Diabetes (high blood sugar). If you have diabetes, try to control your blood sugar level through diet and physical activity (as your doctor recommends). If needed, take medicine as prescribed.
Have an Emergency Action PlanMake sure that you have an emergency action plan in case you or someone in your family has a heart attack. This is very important if you're at high risk for a heart attack or have already had a heart attack.
Write down a list of medicines you are taking, medicines you are allergic to, your health care provider's phone numbers (both during and after office hours), and contact information for a friend or relative. Keep the list in a handy place to share in a medical emergency.