Since February is American Heart month, you’ve probably heard a lot of facts circulating about heart disease: it’s the #1 cause of preventable death in the United States and worldwide, it’s more prevalent among men than women, and you can lower your risk of heart disease by making some simple lifestyle changes.
Still, a recent study by the Cleveland Clinic has shown that many people don’t know much about heart disease — in fact, they believe some heart disease myths that could prevent them from staying healthy.
TITLE Boxing Club is here to help you separate the fact from the fiction. Here are some common heart disease myths to watch out for!
Heart Disease Myths
Fiction: Vitamins can prevent heart disease.
According to the heart disease survey, 61% of participants thought that vitamins or supplements could be used to help prevent heart disease. 44% also thought that vitamins could lower bad cholesterol levels, reducing the risk for heart disease. This isn’t true — there are no vitamins that can stop heart disease.
Fact: Lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercising, lower your risk of heart disease.
If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, lifestyle changes are the way to go. A healthy diet and regular exercise — like the Power Hour fitness classes or personal training session at your local TITLE Boxing Club — are two proven ways to lower cholesterol and fight other risk factors that can make you develop heart disease.
Fiction: Seafood is the key to fighting heart disease.
55% of study participants also expressed belief that getting their daily dose of fish oil — whether through supplements or through their diet — was enough to prevent heart disease. They also indicated that seafood was preferable to red meat when it comes to heart disease because it is lower in cholesterol. Only 45% were aware that some seafood can have the same levels of cholesterol as red meat.
Fact: You need to watch everything you eat in order to lower your risk of heart disease.
It’s true that seafood like salmon is a great way to fight heart disease because of its omega-3 fatty acids, but at the same time you can’t rely on one food to protect yourself against heart disease. Instead, aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet with more whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Also limit the portion sizes on all of your red meats and seafoods.
Fiction: There is a gene that can predict your risk for heart disease.
60% of participants believed that there is a “heart disease gene” that can indicate whether you are at risk for cardiovascular problems. This simply isn’t true — or at least scientists have not yet discovered such a gene.
Fact: Family history plays a role in heart disease, but is not the only risk factor.
Yes, having immediate family members with a history of heart disease does up your risk for developing it — but there are several other risk factors for the disease, too. You could have a family history of heart disease and never develop it, or you could live an incredibly healthy lifestyle and still end up with heart disease due to a family connection. It’s impossible to pinpoint who will or will not end up with heart disease, although risk factors like family history can be used as predictors.
Fight Back Against Heart Disease at TITLE Boxing Club
Though there is no foolproof blueprint to prevent heart disease, experts do agree that eating healthier, quitting smoking, being aware of family history, monitoring blood pressure, BMI, and cholesterol levels, and exercising regularly are good ways to promote heart health.
At TITLE, we’ve got that last one covered. We’ll work with you to fight against heart disease — simply find your nearest TITLE Boxing Club and sign up for the kickboxing or boxing fitness classes that fit your schedule!