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The ABC’s of Heart Health By Dr. Hassan Makki (Phoenix)

Author: Hassan S. Makki, D.O., FACC

Many people would agree that they’d like to have better heart health. After all, we know that better heart health can increase quality of life and longevity. But what actionable steps can you take to get started? Below, you’ll find a few helpful tips for promoting heart health. I’ve pulled these tips from one of my presentations full of information about heart health. You can view and download this presentation in its entirety below.

A – Awareness

When you’re aware of your condition, you have the power to change your condition. All adults should know their…

  • BMI (calculate it here)
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol
  • Blood Sugar
  • Medications

Go over these figures with your primary care physician, and set goals. 

B – Blood Pressure Control & Blood Sugar Control

If you have hypertension, you should have a machine at home to check your blood pressure. Aim for a top number under 140 and a bottom number under 90. Take your medications (if prescribed), and talk to your doctor about weight loss, diet, and sodium.

If you’ve been told you have high blood sugar, limit your sugar intake. Damage from high blood sugar can be reversible. This is a very “actionable” place to start in promoting good heart health.

C – Cholesterol Control & Cessation of Smoking

Many people have high cholesterol as a result of the standard American diet (highly processed foods, meats, poultry, fish, and dairy). Avoid the saturated fats in these foods – which raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Instead, try unsaturated fats for the fatty portion of your daily caloric intake. Peanut oil, olive oil, and avocados are good sources of unsaturated fats. The Mediterranean Diet can be effective for lowering LDL cholesterol.

If you smoke, stop now. It lowers good cholesterol, raises blood pressure, and directly damages the heart and peripheral vessels.

S – Stress Management

On the direct level, stress raises blood pressure and impairs the immune system. More than that, research shows it actually alters our DNA and is a precursor to all major diseases! Reduce stress by resting, exercising, and improving diet.

(Click to download my presentation on the ABCs of Heart Health.)

Schedule Your Appointment With a Phoenix Cardiologist

Want more information about heart health? Explore other posts on the Phoenix Heart Center Blog. To schedule your appointment with a Phoenix cardiologist, call us at 602-234-0004. You can also view physician availability and schedule your appointment online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.



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