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Health Information for the Public

Lower Your Risk for Heart Disease

Your Choice for Change - Honoring the Gift of Heart Health for American Indians

Section One - Knowledge Is Power: Know Your Risk for Heart Disease

Mary Wisdom

Mary: "The good news is that there are many things my family and I can do to lower our risk for heart disease. We have agreed to take the path of heart health. Working together as a family strengthens our chances of staying healthy. I am changing my habits because I want to be at my grandchildren's graduations and weddings."

Mary's Family Takes the Path to Heart Health

  • Lose weight. "We eat smaller portions. If we are still hungry, we have salad."
  • Get 30 to 60 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. "We walk together after dinner every night."
  • Eat less saturated fat and sodium. "I bake chicken instead of frying. I use herbs instead of salt to season our food."
  • Eat more fruits and vegetables. "We enjoy them with meals, as a snack, or for dessert."
  • Limit beverages and foods with sugar. "We limit sweets, such as doughnuts, cookies, and soda."
  • Quit smoking. "Our home is smoke free."
  • Have regular checkups. "We use our heart health cards to track our weight, waist measurement, blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar (to check for diabetes)."

You can lower your risk, too. When you change your lifestyle behaviors by doing some of these things, you will live longer.

Sally Wisdom

Sally: "Changing old habits is no easy chore, but as a family, we will help each other. We are more active and eat healthier meals now."

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Public Health Service
National Institutes of Health
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
NIH Publication No. 08-6340
June 2008

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