About Risk Modification Programs
The risk of heart disease can be increased by modifiable and non-modifiable factors. Vascular doctors in Long island use a risk modification program to maintain a healthy heart by controlling lifestyle risk factors.
Risk modification programs include:
- Maintaining a healthy weight: overweight individuals are encouraged to reduce their weight and maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI). Excessive weight places a strain on the heart and makes it more difficult to control high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes.
- Increased physical activity: Increasing physical activity helps to maintain a healthy BMI. Furthermore, Long Island cardiologists recognize that a lack of exercise causes the muscles to weaken, making it harder to control heart disease such as blood pressure cholesterol levels and, diabetes.
- Consuming a healthy, well-balanced diet: Eat high fiber foods which make you feel full for longer. Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, rich in essential vitamins, very filling and low in calories. Increase the consumption of foods containing unsaturated fats and decrease foods that contain saturated fats. Oily fish, avocados, nuts and seeds, sunflower, rapeseed and olive oil, and vegetable oils are all good sources of unsaturated fats. Common foods containing saturated fats include red meat, meat pies and sausages, hard cheese, butter and lard, pastry, cakes and biscuits, and cream. Sodium plays an important role in a healthy diet and while we need a small amount of sodium in our diets, anything over 2 grams per day is excessive. A healthy heart diet should also focus on what you drink and decreasing your caffeine and alcohol intake will also prove beneficial to your heart.
- Smoking cessation: smoking and the use of other tobacco products exposes the heart and blood vessels to harmful substances such as nicotine and carbon monoxide. These substances have a number of adverse effects on the cardiovascular system including constricting the blood vessels, raising blood pressure and increasing cholesterol levels. Furthermore, since carbon monoxide competes with oxygen in the body, the blood vessels are deprived of oxygen, leading to the growth of plaques inside the arteries and the formation of blood clots. Your heart doctor in Long Island will be able to advise you on the use of smoking cessation products suitable for you.