Heart Attack Signs and a Prevention Plan

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Reported in 2010, the estimated number of those who suffered a heart attack for the first time was 785,000 people and 470,000 for those who have had recurring heart attacks each year. About half of the deaths caused from heart attacks happen before a person reaches emergency help at a hospital.

Symptoms of Heart Attack

To increase the chances of surviving a heart attack, recognizing its symptoms and contacting 9-1-1 immediately is imperative. The following are the major symptoms:

  1. Experiencing pain or discomfort in the back, the jaw, or the neck
  2. Feelings of weakness, feeling faint, or light-headed
  3. Discomfort or pain in the chest
  4. Experiencing pain or discomfort in the shoulder or arms
  5. Panting or shortness of breath

Prevention of Heart Attack

The best way to stave off the chances of a heart attack is by lowering your risk factors with the following:

  1. Put a limit on the unhealthy fats and cholesterol. High cholesterol levels build plaque in arteries which increases your chances for a heart attack.
  2. Choose proteins that contain lower fat. This would be lean cuts of meat, egg whites or egg substitutes. When choosing milk, prefer the skim to the whole milk. Eat fish that are heart smart like salmon, herring, and mackerel. Legumes are also a good low-fat source of protein.
  3. You've heard "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"? It's not just apples that help keep your heart healthy, but fruit in general as well as eating your vegetables.
  4. Breads that are whole grain and that are high in fiber with needed nutrients are a good choice in helping to regulate your blood pressure and to keep your heart healthy.
  5. Watch the sodium. Too much sodium in a diet increases the chances of cardiovascular disease.

Know the signs of a heart attack to increase the chances for survival. However, to lower your risk, follow a heart healthy diet.