ROCHESTER, Minn. - Nearly one out of every three Americans suffers from heart disease, a statistic one world-renowned medical center would like to reduce.
The Mayo Clinic is targeting heart disease with their new "Eat 5, Move 10, Sleep 8" plan.
Heart disease is the number one killer of men and women in the United States; however, according to research, an astonishing 80 percent of those deaths are preventable.
Dr. Martha Grogan, a cardiologist at the prestigious clinic, said even small lifestyle changes can make a big difference.
Grogan lays out her simple plan in a new book titled Mayo Clinic Healthy Heart for Life! which includes eating five fruits and vegetables a day.
"Eating a more healthy diet sounds hard to some people, but don't worry about the things you can't eat," she explained.
"Just focus on the things you can eat. So try to eat five fruits and vegetables a day and you'll be full. You won't eat as much junk food," she said.
Most Americans know that smoking is bad for their heart, but did you know sitting most of the time is just as bad? A sedentary lifestyle doubles the risk for a heart attack.
The good news, even a little bit of exercise can make a big difference. Just 10 minutes a day can cut your chance of a heart attack in half.
"If you do more activity, you'll benefit even more. But people have gotten into the habit of thinking that 10 minutes is nothing, and it's not," Grogan said.
Getting eight hours of sleep a night should be considered a necessity, not a luxury, because sleep deprivation has devastating effects on your heart.
"One of the most important things about sleep is that getting adequate sleep can help people lose weight. so it not only protects you against heart attacks, but helps you maintain a healthy weight," Grogan explained.
Finally, be joyful. Because negative emotions like anger, anxiety, grief, and loneliness can damage your heart.
So changing to a heart healthy lifestyle is easier than you think, and as an added bonus, you'll also reduce the risk of stroke, Alzheimer's, and cancer.