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The first week of May marks Australia's Annual National Heart Health awareness campaign run by The Heart Foundation. It gives Australians the chance to start a conversation about heart health and take proactive measures to lower risk of developing heart disease. 

Coronary heart disease, arrhythmias, heart failure, and valve disease are all illnesses that fall under the umbrella term "cardiovascular heart disease."  

In Australia, heart disease is a major cause of health issues and mortality affecting over 4 million Australians. The good news is most risk factors can be prevented through living a healthy lifestyle. 

Here are some steps you can take NOW to help prevent heart disease:  

  • Eating a heart healthy balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, wholegrains and healthy fats such as omega 3 and 6 rich foods 
  • Spend more time being active – any physical activity is better than none, so this doesn’t mean just going to the gym. Activities such as walking or gardening are a great way to stay active. 
  • Drink alcohol in moderation – there are plenty of options in the market now for alcohol-free options, so you don’t feel as though you are missing out 
  • Abstain from smoking – smoking damages the blood vessels which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease  
  • Managing blood pressure and cholesterol issues is important which can be achieved through avoiding saturated and trans-fat and reducing sodium intake and living a balanced lifestyle  
  • Get a heart health check - book in with your GP for a 20-minute Heart Health Check to assess your risk of heart attack or stroke  

How do you know if you are at risk for heart disease? 

Anyone can get heart disease, however several factors put you at greater risk. 
Such as if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and/or are overweight. As well as if you smoke, do inadequate physical activity and/or don't follow a balanced diet.  
In addition, if you’re over the age of 55 and/or your parents or siblings have had heart disease before the age of 65 this also puts you at a greater risk. 

At Be Fit Food we can assist you with eating a balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight, however if you need additional support check out our health professional directory