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Heart Disease: Prevention Myths - Topic Overview

There are lots of things you can do to lower your risk for coronary artery disease. 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 hormone therapy does not prevent heart disease. So experts no longer recommend this use of hormone therapy.1
  • Low-carbohydrate diets. These diets could cause serious medical problems, especially if you have heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. 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 folic acid 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 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:

actionset.gif Heart Disease: Eating a Heart-Healthy Diet.

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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: March 12, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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