Heart Disease: Prevention Myths
There are lots of things you can do to lower your risk for Reference coronary artery disease Opens New Window. Good habits, such as eating right, getting regular exercise, and not smoking, all work for most people. But many of the things you may hear about really don't work. These include:
- Hormone therapy. Doctors used to think that hormone therapy could lower your risk of getting heart disease. But taking Reference estrogen Opens New Window with or without Reference progestin Opens New Window does not prevent heart disease. In fact, if you are 10 or more years past Reference menopause Opens New Window, taking Reference hormone therapy Opens New Window may raise your risk for heart disease.Reference 1
- Low-carbohydrate diets. These diets could cause serious medical problems, especially if you have heart disease, Reference type 2 diabetes Opens New Window, Reference high cholesterol Opens New Window, or Reference high blood pressure Opens New Window. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Heart Association do not recommend these diets.
- High-protein diets. These diets limit healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. And they don't include essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. The American Heart Association does not recommend high-protein diets.
- Vitamin B supplements. Vitamin B and Reference folic acid Opens New Window supplements do not lower the risk of heart disease or stroke. Most doctors recommend that you get B vitamins from a balanced diet.
- Vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E does not lower the risk of a heart attack or stroke. The American Heart Association does not recommend taking vitamin E to reduce your risk. Instead, eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts.
You can read more about Reference guidelines for heart-healthy eating that include foods that do lower your risk. Or you can follow tips for starting and staying with a hearty-healthy eating plan in:
It's important to talk with your doctor if you aren't sure about your risk for heart disease and the best ways you can lower it.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference April 6, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Robert A. Kloner, MD, PhD - Cardiology