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February 1, 2018

American Heart Month: Facts and Myths for Your Heart Health

Nearly 610,000 people succumb to heart disease annually in the United States. So, with 1 in every 4 deaths being attributed to heart disease, we’re taking this opportunity to share some facts and debunk myths surrounding heart health.

Myth: It’s impossible to know when you’re at a higher risk of heart disease.

Fact: One of the best ways to avoid heart problems is to be proactive, as opposed to reactive. Communicating effectively and often with your team of physicians is a great place to start. Blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes are all afflictions that can contribute to heart disease. Conveniently, modern medicine and a healthy diet can often mitigate those negative effects and help limit your risk of heart disease. See how much you really know about heart health by taking the CDC’s Heart Disease Quiz.

Myth: Heart disease affects people randomly.

Fact: While many external factors may contribute to negative heart health, heart disease does actually run within families. For this reason, you should share your family health history with your healthcare provider so they can better understand what risks you face, especially when it comes to heart health. There are also numerous genetic factors that can contribute to heart disease that might not technically be familial.

Myth: Everyone, everywhere, at every time needs 8 glasses of water daily.

Fact: It might come as a shock, but there are many additional circumstances that can affect just how much water is the right amount for an individual. In short, climate, current health, activity level and pregnancy can all change how much water you should be drinking. This is another instance where your healthcare provider can help you determine what’s healthiest for you!

Myth: A glass of water before bed will help prevent heart attacks.

Fact: We’re normally of the opinion that there is no bad time for a glass of water. However, if drinking that extra glass of water before bed makes you get up and go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, you may be doing more harm than good. Interrupting your sleep cycle, especially nightly, can actually lead to higher stress levels and may adversely affect you in your fight against heart disease. Don’t leave hydration to the last minute, make sure you’re getting your water in throughout the day.

Myth: Tomatoes are the best food to consume to help fight heart disease.

Fact: We’re not here to start a food fight, but we have to let you know that watermelon actually has 1.5 times the amount of lycopene, a super antioxidant, that raw tomatoes have. All the more reason to put an extra serving of that delicious fruit on your plate next summer!

How do you prevent heart disease during your daily routine? Remember to spread the word that February is American Heart Month!