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Heart disease refers to several heart conditions. In the U.S., the most common type of heart disease is coronary artery disease. This affects blood flow to the heart. Not enough blood flow can cause a heart attack.

The good news is, there are things you can do to help avoid heart disease. These things include lifestyle choices and paying attention to your body’s numbers. Here are seven tips to help reduce your risk of heart disease.

Read more: 5 ways to keep your heart healthy and happy

1. Be mindful of what you eat and drink

It’s important for your heart and body that you eat a well-rounded diet. This includes whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, and nuts and legumes.

Foods that can help prevent high cholesterol include those high in fiber and low in saturated fats, trans fats and cholesterol. Staying away from salt and sugar as much as possible can help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and help prevent or control diabetes.

Alcohol can raise your blood pressure, so choose water with a splash of lemon or cucumber instead. Men should limit their alcohol to two drinks per day, while women should have no more than one drink per day, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Read more: 5 heart-healthy steps to work into your diet

Read more: Why it's important for you to drink water and stay hydrated

2. Keep a healthy weight

People who are overweight or obese have a higher chance of heart disease. The extra weight puts stress on blood vessels and the heart. You can discover your body mass index (BMI) using this BMI calculator.

Read more: 3 tips for healthy weight loss

3. Stay physically active

Exercise has been shown to lower blood pressure, cholesterol, control body weight, and improve energy and stress levels. Try just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, of moderate activity. Find something you love – run, walk your dog, garden, dance or hike.

Check out the American Heart Association's physical activity recommendations for adults and kids

4. Monitor your cholesterol

You should get a blood test to gauge your cholesterol levels every four to six years. If you know you have high cholesterol or a family history of high cholesterol, you may need to have those levels checked more often. Talk to your physician about when you should get this simple blood test.

5. Check your blood pressure

You should have your blood pressure checked at least once every two years. If you have high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease, your health care provider will likely want you to check blood pressure more often.

High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, usually has no symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get it checked on a regular basis. If you have high blood pressure, your physician may recommend lifestyle changes, such as lowering sodium intake or a medication to help lower your blood pressure.

Read more: Your guide to low sodium eating and how to lower your blood pressure

Read more: Ways to lower blood pressure naturally through your diet

6. Manage your diabetes

If you have diabetes, check your blood sugar levels regularly. Talk with your health care provider about how you can manage your diabetes. They may advise lifestyle changes to help keep your blood sugar under control. Managing your diabetes can help prevent heart disease.

Read more: Prediabetes risk factors, testing, and why most don't know they have it

Check out these healthy habits to help you prevent or manage your type 2 diabetes

7. Take your medications

People who take medicine for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes should make sure to follow their health care provider’s instructions. Following those instructions can help you keep medical conditions under control, which can help prevent heart disease.

If something is unclear, make sure to ask questions. Don’t stop taking medications without talking to your health care team first.

Learn more about these tips to prevent heart disease from the CDC