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Heart Disease Myths Explained

There is so much information about what causes heart disease, and it can be challenging to decipher fact from fiction. Here are a few common myths about heart disease we'd like to help you understand.
All heart attacks have the same warning signs.

We all know the classic heart attack symptoms: chest pain, arm/back discomfort, and shortness of breath. But what if we told you that you could have a heart attack and not feel any of those symptoms? Warning signs of a heart attack can appear anytime, at rest or in motion, and at work or play. A heart attack may strike suddenly, but most people have warning signs and symptoms hours, days, or weeks beforehand. One of the earliest warning signs of an impending heart attack is chest pain, or angina, which repeatedly occurs because of exertion and is then eased by rest.

The American Heart Association reports that 1 in 5 heart attacks are “silent.” These cardiac arrests go unnoticed and are sometimes discovered when examining the heart for a different problem. It’s crucial not to ignore even the smallest of symptoms and call your doctor if you have concerns.
There is no way to prevent heart problems if you have a family history.

It’s easy to feel discouraged when you discover a family history of heart disease and believe there’s no way to prevent cardiac arrest. While it’s easy to believe this, it’s essential to know it isn’t always true. Preventative action could be life-saving, especially for people with a family history of heart disease. Visiting a cardiologist with a list of questions is a great place to start. Each year in the United States, about 659,000 people die from heart disease. A family history of premature heart disease can be a significant risk factor. The good news? Other risk factors, such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or cholesterol, can be controlled with lifestyle changes. The good news is that you can lower your risk by nearly half (46 percent) by having a healthy lifestyle, which in this case, means adhering to a healthy lifestyle!

Heavy drinking mainly affects the liver, not the heart.

The impact of heavy drinking on the liver is no secret, but it may also cause significant heart damage. In an American Heart Association study, researchers found evidence that excessive drinking can cause heart tissue damage, even before symptoms begin to show. Moderate drinking is a good defense against preventable heart damage. You may have heard that red wine is good for your heart and can promote cardiovascular health. This is partially true – a moderate intake of red wine can have some benefits due to its antioxidant properties. However, there are other, healthier ways to consume antioxidants that do not involve alcohol.

Overall, heavy drinking is bad for the heart and can increase your risk of heart-related conditions such as:
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Cardiomyopathy
Remember, if you do choose to drink, do so in moderation. Your heart will thank you later!
Keep Your Heart Healthy. One of the most important steps to improve your heart health is taking control of your diet. Eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, limiting salt and added sugar. Not sure how to do this? We can help.

At Plantable, we have all the tools for success under one roof, including delicious, nutrient-rich, satisfying meals, one-on-one coaching, and the support and resources you need to achieve your goals. Learn more about our programs.