Skip to Content

View Additional Section Content

grandpa and child on the beach

Be smart for your heart.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States. Learning more about heart health and what steps to take to prevent heart disease is essential.Even the smallest steps like eating a heart-healthy diet, increasing exercise, and managing stress can make a big impact on your overall heart health.

Three steps to reduce your risk of heart disease:

  1. If you smoke, make a plan to quit

    Cigarette smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease, increases blood pressure, decreases exercise tolerance and increases the tendency for blood to clot.

  2. Eat a heart-healthy diet

    Changing your diet can have a dramatic effect on your heart health. Start with these tips:

    Round, flat carrot icon

    Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and high-fiber foods.

    Round, flat wheat icon

    Eat foods low in saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol.

    Round, flat salt shaker icon

    Limit your sodium to 1,500 milligrams per day.

    Round, flat plated fish icon

    Eat food high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish.

    Round, flat smoothie icon

    Be sure to read food labels. Some "tricky" foods that may appear healthy, do not actually have high nutritional value.

    Round, flat lemon water icon

    Limit drinks and food with added sugars.

  3. Walk 10,000 steps daily

    The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity five days per week, for a total of 150 minutes.

MU Heart and Vascular Center

If you have heart disease or need help reducing your risk factors, our comprehensive team of experts can help. Our physicians, nurses and other health professionals take time to listen to patients and their family members and work as a team to determine the best treatment for each patient. Our specialists are trained to care for patients with all types of heart conditions and provide treatment that may range from medication and monitoring to interventional procedures (such as cardiac catheterization) and surgery.

Our team of experts:

Get more tips for healthy living

MU Heart and Valve Team

For questions, coordination or consultations, please contact us at (573) 88HEART (884-3278) or schedule an appointment online.

Connect with us


Heart Month

American Heart Month Kicks Off With Mayoral Proclamation

Yeh, Ruffin, Beggeman, Fay

Columbia Mayor Pro Tem Clyde Ruffin officially named February as Columbia’s Heart Month at a community-wide mayoral proclamation hosted at University Hospital. At the event, University of Missouri Health Care, Boone Hospital Center and city leaders teamed up to raise awareness about the prevalence of heart disease.

View the proclamation.