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Develop healthy habits

The Heart Foundation South Africa differentiates between controllable and uncontrollable heart disease, the latter referring to heart disease caused by infection or birth defects.

Some essential tips have been provided by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on how you can tackle controllable heart disease, helping to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels normal and lowering your risk for heart disease and an actual heart attack.

Healthy foods and drinks 

Your pharmacist, doctor or dietician can help you to choose healthy foods and drinks. The guideline is to eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and fewer processed foods. Avoid foods high in saturated fat and trans fat but eat foods high in fibre. Limit your sugar intake to avoid diabetes and avoid drinking alcohol excessively.

Keep a healthy weight  

Carrying extra weight can put stress on your heart and blood vessels. Talk to your Link pharmacist about a BMI (Body Mass Index) test to find out if you need lifestyle and dietary changes.


Physical activity can help to maintain a healthy weight, lower your blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Start with moderate exercises or physical activity. If you are particularly unfit, get a check up from your doctor before starting your exercise regime.

Quit smoking  

If you are not a smoker please do not start!

Cigarette smoking can increase your risk for heart disease significantly. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to help  you to quit.

Link’s Ryan Conybeare says that a further tip is to see your pharmacy as a community good health centre.

“The Link pharmacy brand has been synonymous with ‘good health’ for decades and our pharmacists, often the  pharmacy owners, play a pivotal role in the well-being of our customers. Link’s pharmacists will make the time to  talk to you and between them and your doctor, they can help you to reduce your risk of heart disease”.



While all reasonable effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of information contained in this article, information may change or become dated, as new developments occur. The Link group shall not be held liable or accountable for the accuracy, completeness or correctness of any information for any purpose. No content in this article, irrespective of the date or reference source, should be viewed as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor, pharmacist or any other suitably qualified clinician.