less risk than artificial trans fats.
Companies are allowed to say a food is free of trans fats even if they have as much as half a gram. To avoid trans fats, check nutrition labels and skip fried food, processed baked goods and refrigerated dough. And look for terms such as “partially hydrogenated oils” in the ingredients list.
2. Beware of secondhand smoke
Smoking is a well-known cause of heart disease. But even if you’re not smoking, you need to be careful.
“Every effort should be made to avoid secondhand smoke because it carries many of the same chemicals and irritants that we think lead to coronary disease,” Newby shares.
It’s a matter of accumulating risk, Virani adds. “If you have heart disease, and then you add secondhand smoke on top of everything else that’s going on, the risk really goes up.” For people who have had a heart attack, that includes a higher risk of having another one.
Avoiding secondhand smoke can be tough if you work at a place where smoking is allowed. But if you have a family member who smokes, Virani says, “at a minimum” you should ask them to smoke outside.
3. Be careful with common drugs, including ibuprofen
“A lot of times we all have this misperception that if something is available over the counter, it is safe,” Virani says. “Patients who have heart disease should be very mindful, even if it’s vitamins.”
The guidelines offer a specific warning about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs. These drugs include ibuprofen and naproxen sodium.
“What we’re talking about here is not kind of a one-time use because your muscles are sore after working out,” Newby notes. “What we’re talking about is using them every day.”
NSAIDs pose two issues for people with coronary disease, Virani says. First, extended use has been linked to