Keeping a healthy weight cuts your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attack. But losing excess weight isn't always easy.

Follow the Mediterranean Diet

Research has shown that the Mediterranean diet can help lower your risk of heart disease. The Mediterranean diet emphasizes:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Whole grains
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans
  • Olive oil

This diet limits your intake of red meat, dairy, refined grains, sugar, and processed foods. Ask your doctor if the Mediterranean diet is right for you.

If you struggle with your weight, a doctor or dietitian can help. These providers work with you to create a healthy eating plan. They can also suggest beneficial exercises to help you shed excess pounds.

Exercise Regularly

Healthy adults should aim for 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity every week. Aerobic exercise gets your blood pumping and helps cut your risk of heart disease.

Any exercise can lower your risk of heart disease. But if you're not used to exercising, you may want to start with walking, swimming, or gardening. Yoga and strength training can also keep your body fit. Your doctor can help you choose safe, enjoyable exercises.

Quit Smoking

There's no doubt about it: smoking is bad for your heart and lungs. Even e-cigarettes can be harmful. If you're concerned about your heart health, it's best to quit.

Drink in Moderation

Most healthy adults should consume no more than one alcoholic drink per day. If you already have heart disease, you may need to stop drinking altogether. Your doctor can determine how much alcohol is safe for you.

Manage Your Stress

Stress causes inflammation throughout your body. Over time, this inflammation can increase your risk of heart problems.

If you're under much pressure at work or home, talk to a doctor, counselor, or therapist. Mental health care can help lower your stress levels and protect your heart.