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Men may reduce their risks for heart disease by revving up healthy lifestyle practices.

​"Five healthy lifestyle choices will substantially lower the risk of developing heart disease," says Madjid Mirzai-Tehrane, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic.

Dr. Mirzai-Tehrane's top five tactics:

  1. Not smoking
  2. Eating a healthy diet
  3. Exercising daily
  4. Drinking alcohol in moderation and
  5. Staying at a healthy weight.

Research agrees

Medical research conducted with almost 43,000 male health professionals over 16 years found that among men ages 40 to 75 who suffered heart attacks, almost 62 percent of the attacks could have been prevented by following Dr. Mirzai-Tehrane's healthy habits.

Small changes help, too

Men who adopt just two or three healthy strategies can lower their heart risks.

"If a patient could make three lifestyle changes, I would advise them to stop smoking, start exercising and maintain a healthy weight," says Dr. Mirzai-Tehrane. "Should they have the urge to smoke, I tell them to take a brisk walk instead.

"The next most important thing is exercise," he said. "I would rather have my patients physically active but not at the ideal weight, as opposed to being a skinny couch potato. Thirty minutes a day at a moderate pace is what I suggest - swimming, walking, jogging and biking all count.

"When doing weight consultations, I tell patients to simply step away from the table before they feel full because it takes the brain 30 minutes to realize their stomach is no longer hungry."

He also advises limiting alcoholic drinks to two or fewer a day, steering clear of secondhand tobacco smoke and avoiding saturated and trans fats.

"Try filling up on more vegetables, fruits and fiber-filled foods like oatmeal."​

Regular doctor visits to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol levels and blood sugar, with sound medical advice on how to keep them in the safe range, are also part of the doctor's strategy.

Alternate Text
Madjid Mirzai-Tehrane, MD

​I believe an ounce of prevention saves pounds of treatment in the future. For example, a simple cheap blood pressure medicine can save a patient lots of headaches and expenses down the road. So prevention is much better than treatment.