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Prevention and lifestyle

To limit your risk of developing cardiovascular disease, it is important to lead a healthy life. That may mean that you have to change some habits.

  • If you smoke, it is very important to stop.
  • If your blood pressure is too high, it is sensible to limit your alcohol consumption to one or two glasses of alcohol a day, take plenty of exercise and add no salt to your food. Often medication will be required to lower your blood pressure.
  • If you have diabetes, besides following a diet, medication can help to regulate your blood sugar levels.
  • If your cholesterol is too high, it is important to eat healthily and preferably choose food containing unsaturated fats. Oil, fish and nuts are good sources of unsaturated fats.
  • Take sufficient exercise. That means exercising moderately intensively for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. This will help you to lower high blood pressure and increased cholesterol levels and to lose weight.
  • If you are too heavy, try to lose weight. Losing weight is not only good for your heart, but often also good for your blood pressure and cholesterol.
  • Eat a varied diet, avoid saturated fat, eat sufficient fruit and vegetables and use salt sparingly. The Netherlands Nutrition Center Foundation recommends: 200g of vegetables and two pieces of fruit every day.

By following this advice, you will reduce your risk of developing heart disease or of its progressing.