Heart Attack Prevention
(How to Prevent a Heart Attack)

  • Medical Author:
    John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP

    John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Quick GuideHeart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System

Heart-Healthy Diet: 25 Foods to Protect Your Cardiovascular System

What can I do to prevent heart disease or a heart attack?

  • Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle with a nutritious low-fat diet and exercise is the best way to prevent heart disease and heart attack.
  • A heart-healthy diet includes nutrient-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Fat and sugar should be limited.
  • Regular exercise can also help keep you at a healthy weight and prevent heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Other tips for lifestyle changes that can help prevent heart disease or a heart attack include not smoking, limiting alcohol, reducing stress, and managing diabetes and high blood pressure.

What kinds of diets are recommended to prevent heart disease and heart attacks?

A heart-healthy diet is full of:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Low-fat dairy
  • Lean poultry
  • Fish
  • Nuts

Limit:

  • Sugar
  • Red meat
  • Sugary sodas

There is evidence that natural plant-based, vegetarian or vegan diets may be helpful in preventing and even reversing heart disease.

The DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is an eating plan that helps manage high blood pressure and is effective in reducing the risk of heart attack.

What tips and lifestyle changes can be made to prevent heart disease and heart attacks?

Leading a heart-healthy lifestyle is the best way to prevent heart disease and heart attack. Follow these tips to reduce your risk factors for heart attack.

  • Eat a heart-healthy diet.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Limit alcohol intake.
  • Manage diabetes and blood pressure.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Reduce stress (take stress management classes or yoga)
  • Take prescribed medications as directed.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/24/2016

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