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With a heavy heart, we share the news of Dr. John McDougall’s passing. A visionary physician and author, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, mentor and friend, Dr. McDougall died peacefully at his home on Saturday, June 22nd, at the age of 77.

18 Ways to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease

The fundamentals of the McDougall Program are simple yet often difficult to implement. Learn about the 12-Day McDougall Program - a life-saving medical program that empowers participants with the knowledge and practical steps needed to live a vibrant, long life. For questions on whether a change in diet can help your ailment, learn more about our consultations.
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reversing heart disease

Heart disease is a scary thing. With 695,000 Americans dying from it each year, there is a reason to be afraid.

But this alarming number doesn’t have to seal your fate. You can prevent and reverse heart disease by making the right choices now. Implementing the 18 strategies outlined below can help prevent problems and strengthen your heart.

1. Eating a Heart-Healthy, Plant-Based Diet

The best diet for heart disease reversal is plant-based. One study showed that 99.4% of people following a plant-based diet avoided major heart events.

2. Exercise

Exercise reduces your blood pressure while strengthening your heart, forcing it to beat faster. If you need a low-impact exercise option, try swimming or walking briskly. They’re excellent forms of movement for heart health that won’t put pressure on the joints or bones.

3. Managing Weight and Body Composition

Being overweight puts extra stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing the risk of contracting conditions like high blood pressure and heart problems.

4. Quitting Smoking

Smoking is a significant cause of heart disease, among other health problems.

5. Limiting Alcohol Consumption

Abusing alcohol is hard on many vital organs but specifically causes damage to the heart and blood vessels.

6. Managing Your Stress

Stress is harmful to your health; learning to manage it is crucial. To overcome stressful feelings, look into yoga, meditation, journaling or nature walks.

7. Getting Quality Sleep

When you sleep poorly, your body can’t heal and may contract various health problems.

8. Monitoring Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can damage the arteries and heart, so take steps to get it under control.

9. Managing Cholesterol Levels

Your cholesterol levels need the same attention as blood pressure, as high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) cause plaque to build in your arteries.

10. Managing Diabetes

If you have diabetes, you’re at higher risk of developing various heart conditions. However, managing your blood sugars and A1C can reduce some risks.

11. Pay Attention to Symptoms

Different heart disease symptoms and factors can go unnoticed until too late. If you feel something may be wrong, don’t ignore it. Take a quick trip to an Urgent Care center and get it checked out.

12. Adding Omega-3 Fatty Acids to Your Diet

Omega-3 fatty acids support good heart health. But since the body doesn’t produce them naturally, adding sources to your diet is essential. There are plenty of Omega-3s in a well-balanced, plant-based meal plan. But if you’re worried about not getting enough, simply add 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed to your oatmeal in the morning.

13. Having a Fiber-Rich Diet

Dietary fiber supports the heart by reducing blood pressure, blood sugar levels and inflammation. A starch-based diet is full of fiber.

14. Eating Antioxidant-Rich Foods

Antioxidants help reduce the damage caused by oxidative stress, giving your heart health a boost. Fruits and vegetables and rich in antioxidants.

15. Limiting Processed Foods

Processed foods contain extra salt, fat and sugar that can harm your heart. The fewer of these foods you eat, the better you’ll feel.

16. Staying Hydrated

One study found that being well-hydrated could reduce your risk of developing heart failure.

17. Joining Group Activities

Social isolation is associated with a 30% increased risk of heart attack, so feeling connected to your community is crucial in reducing that risk.

18. Getting a Pet

Need a reason to get a furry friend? Pets can help improve heart health in various ways, with dogs providing a few extra benefits over other companion animals.

Learn More about Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease

Dr. McDougall offers a variety of beneficial resources for preventing and reversing heart disease. Learn why physical activity is so important in preventing heart disease, how to cook heart-friendly meals and how to make your heart stronger than ever.

Take control of your heart health today!