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Heart Disease Health Center

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Your Waistline and Heart Disease: What's the Link?

Make Over Your Diet continued...

Try a Mediterranean-style eating plan. The diet is good for your heart and can lower blood sugar. You’ll eat more fruits, grains, beans, and nuts, along with healthy fats like olive oil.

Think spicy instead of sweet. For instance, use vanilla or cinnamon to flavor oatmeal and other foods instead of brown sugar and fatty cream. Try a dash of cinnamon in black coffee, too.

Avoid fads and quick fixes. Trendy diet kits and breath-stopping waist cinchers will always crowd store shelves. But there are no special exercises, devices, or diets that target belly fat. “As you lose weight, the weight will come off the belly, also.”

Eat healthy for the long haul. You might try a hard-core, fat-melting program, and you may pair it with a weight-loss drug. “But it’s not something that works for long term,” Goldberg warns. “People have to learn good habits. There’s no way around it.”

To help map out the approach that’s best for you, ask your doctor or dietitian to test your body fats. You can find out your chances of getting heart disease and learn what foods your body needs. You can also get checked for inflammation, diabetes, and other things that could affect your health. “Personalized care is the best option, and now with the testing available, is the best way to go to ensure success,Angelone says.

Get a Move On

Stay active. Get up from your desk and take brief walks throughout the day, or while you make phone calls.

“Being more active all during the day will burn more calories than just going for a run once a day,” although focused exercise is important too, Angelone says.

Get out your bike, treadmill, or running shoes. Or just crank up the dance music.

“There are other ways to move than what we normally think of as exercise,” Goldberg says.

You can try aerobic-based DVDs or subscribe to an exercise channel or two. Smartphone apps are handy for keeping track of your fitness as well.

Whether you're young or older, you can lower your odds of getting heart disease if you don't smoke and you find ways to add exercise into your days.

In short, “people need to get up and move,” Goldberg says.

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Reviewed on December 23, 2015

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