5 myths about heart health

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) -- All month we've been giving you information on heart health awareness since February is American Heart Month. It's important to know the facts about how your heart works and what it needs to function at its best but there are also just as many myths about heart health.

Check out more on this list from Fit & Health: 5 Heart Health Myths

1. It's Easy to Tell When You're Having a Heart Attack - Pain on the left side of chest and the arm is a classic indicator of a heart attack, but only sometimes. Many write the symptoms off as heartburn or fatigue. Women experience heart attacks differently causing them to wait before getting treatment. They could have stomach, back, jaw or neck pain, trouble breathing, and suffer from nausea and feel overwhelmingly fatigued.

2. You're Clear Buying Food Labeled "Trans-Fat-Free" - It's true that trans fats are no friend to your heart, but buying items with trans-fat-free labels isn't the way to keep your heart protected. Products that claim to be trans-fat-free can still contain up to half a gram of trans fats and maintain the label. A product low in trans fats could still be full of saturated fats. So be sure to Read the entire food label, considering serving size, and total fat.

3. You Don't Have Heart Problems, It's Stress & Anxiety - Many symptoms get written off as stress or anxiety. It's possible that stress is the culprit -- but it's also possible that a fast heartbeat at rest is the sign of a deeper problem. It's possible that you suffer from an irregular heartbeat that requires medication. If you often feel like you're hyper-ventilating, it's easy to say anxiety, but look deeper.

4. Don't Worry About It Until You're Middle-aged - Age is one risk factor for heart problems but that doesn't mean that heart health is a concern only for middle-aged people. It's possible to start developing coronary artery disease as a teen -- and people in their 20s and 30s have suffered from heart attacks. Making exercise and healthy eating a priority will go a long way to ensuring long-term heart health.

5. Fit People Shouldn't Worry About It - Just because you're at a healthy weight doesn't mean that your heart is healthy. Your heart's health is affected by genetics -- a family history of health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure puts you at risk for the same conditions -- no matter your weight.


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