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2 Your Well-Being: tips for a healthy heart

Dr. Gayatri Acharya is with Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare at Northline Avenue. She shares several tips for a healthy heart.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Heart disease accounts for one in every seven deaths in the United States, and it's the number one killer of women. In today's 2 Your Well-Being, we're talking about what you should know about heart disease and the steps you should take for a healthy heart.

Dr. Gayatri Acharya is with Cone Health Medical Group HeartCare at Northline Avenue. She said it's never too early to be thinking about taking care of your heart. It's very preventable if caught early. 

Be physically active

Dr. Acharya said just get 30 minutes of activity a day. The American Heart Association recommends getting 150 minutes of exercise a week, but that can feel overwhelming. Dr. Acharya said breaking it up can help you plan. Exercise induces walking, riding a bike, climbing the stairs, anything that gets your heart going. 

Eat a healthy diet

Dr. Acharya said a plant-based diet with a lean protein source is the best. That's things like fruit and vegetables, fish, healthy fats like avocados, and olive oil or nuts. If you like steak, have a steak on your birthday or anniversary. Everything is in moderation. 

Moderate alcohol consumption

One of the most heart-healthy diets is the Mediterranean diet, and it does put alcohol limits. Dr. Acharya said the only alcohol that is heart-healthy is red wine. The Mediterranean diet recommends a 5-ounce pour for men and a 3-ounce pour for women, not every day. 

Men vs. Women

Dr. Acharya said the signs of heart disease look different in men and women. Women may experience shortness of breath and have indigestion that doesn't go away even with the help of medication. 

Biggest myths

Dr. Acharya said if you have a family with heart disease, you are not doomed. There are so many more treatments and preventions available now than before. 

If you have had a heart attack or heart failure, this is not the end of the road. There are many therapies available to help you through.