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Cold Heart Facts Myths and truths about cardiovascular disease

Think you’ve got heart health all figured out? It might be more complicated than you think (sorry, red wine drinkers).

Small misconceptions can have big impacts on your cardiovascular system, putting you at risk of heart disease. Check your heart IQ by tackling these heart health myths … Can you separate fact from fiction?


Myth #1: I would know if I had high blood pressure or cholesterol.

Fact

High blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) may not have any outward symptoms until you suffer a heart attack. You may not have any idea that your cholesterol or blood pressure are a concern until they are measured, leaving you at risk without even knowing it.

Action plan

See your health care practitioner to have your blood pressure and cholesterol checked. Discuss your personal risk factors for cardiovascular disease to determine how often these tests should be done.

Myth #2: I eat a low-fat diet so I don’t need to worry about heart disease.

Fact

Recent studies suggest that a low-fat diet will not do your heart any favours, although avoiding trans fats is still advised. Be careful about using carbohydrate-rich foods such as refined grains and sugars to replace fat-containing ones—a high-carb and low-fat diet could be your heart’s worst enemy.

Action plan

Continue to eat fat as part of a varied diet that also emphasizes protein, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid hydrogenated margarines, commercially prepared baked goods, and fried foods, as they are common sources of heart-harming trans fats.

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