LAGRANGE, Ga — It’s estimated that 8 million women in the U.S. are currently living with heart disease. 267,000 women die each year from heart attacks, which kill six times as many women as breast cancer.
Obesity is one of the main culprits. Dr. Margaret Schaufler of West Georgia Physicians says what we eat and how often we eat are important factors in preventing heart disease.
“Most of my patients who are heavy, love to tell me that they only eat one meal a day and they say I don’t eat much of anything, but when you really get into what that one meal a day is, it’s a pretty hefty meal and it’s all of the old usual suspects of fat and sugar,” said Dr. Schaufler.
If you’d like to cut your risk for heart disease, what you eat is crucial. Dr. Schaufler says start with fresh fruits and vegetables, and cut down on the fat and sodium. When it comes to meats, choose lean meats. And cut down on eating out.
“Anything you eat at home is going to be less fat, les salt, less salt and less sugar, half as much as you’re going to get outside of your home.”
Dr. Schaufler adds, when you eat, have a plan to work it off.
Other risk factors for heart disease include smoking, diabetes, hypertension, stress, and family history.
When it comes to signs of a heart attack, women’s symptoms are different than the symptoms for men. They could include shortness of breath, back pain, shoulder pain, jaw pain, and nausea.